Players’ concussion suit heads to court
PHILADELPHIA – With perhaps billions of dollars at stake, a hearing today over concussion litigation filed against the NFL promises to be a contest between legal lions.
About 4,200 former players have sued the league. Some suffer from dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological problems. Others simply want their health monitored.
And a small number, including Ray Easterling and 12-time Pro Bowler Junior Seau, committed suicide.
The players’ lawyers accuse the NFL of promoting violence in the game and concealing known cognitive risks from concussions and other blows to the head. They hope to keep the litigation in federal court so they can use the discovery process to access NFL files – and see what the league knew when.
The NFL argues that the complaints belong in arbitration under terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
The NFL will be represented today by Paul Clement, a former U.S. solicitor general under President George W. Bush who fought President Obama’s state health care mandates before the Supreme Court.
Players’ lawyer David Frederick, an Obama ally, has taken consumer protection fights over investor fees and prescription drug warnings to the high court.
– Associated Press