SBD/May 16, 2017/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Judge Dismisses Majority Of Claims Against NFL Teams For Handing Out Painkillers

A federal court judge late yesterday threw out most claims against the NFL's 32 teams for allegedly illegally dispensing painkillers to former players, a case that drew increased scrutiny earlier this year when documents that were supposed to be sealed were published showing the extent of the league’s painkiller regimen. Judge William Alsup did allow nine specific players to bring certain charges, but otherwise tossed the case. “The second amended complaint is replete with extensive and incendiary allegations of conspiracy and general illegality (e.g., that the NFL’s handling and distribution of medication violated the Controlled Substances Act and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act),” the judge wrote. Apparently alluding to the high-profile media disclosures, he wrote, “This order makes clear at the outset that what matters is not whether plaintiffs have drawn attention to widespread misconduct in the NFL but whether each plaintiff has properly pled claims for relief against each individual club and, if so, whether those claims survive summary judgment.” Alsup’s point is even if NFL doctors did dispense drugs illegally by doing so in locations where they were not allowed, that did not mean the players were harmed.
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