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NFL Concussion Lawsuit Tracker: 35

2012 February 28
by Paul Anderson

The Locks Law Firm continues to make it rain. On Friday they filed the 35th concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL. The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is a mass tort and includes 52 former players and their wives: Carl Hairston, et al v. NFL. This is the seventh lawsuit filed by the Locks Law Firm, and they now represent 234 former players. The Hairston suit is no different than the others, asserting counts of negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, fraudulent concealment, conspiracy to defraud, loss of consortium and declaratory relief.

With the creation of, former players have rushed to the Locks Law Firm to seek representation. I don’t think we are anywhere close to seeing the end. Each week, for the past 10 weeks, a new concussion suit has been filed. With the recent national-media frenzy over Dave Duerson’s wrongful death suit, I am sure former players are starting to catch wind that these lawsuits may have a chance.

There are now over 700 former players–roughly 715–represented in the lawsuits. Whether or not the increased number of plaintiffs will drive the NFL to consider settling is highly doubtful. Any talks of settlement would not come until after, and IF, the plaintiffs are able to survive a motion to dismiss and summary judgment. In other words, the NFL is not going to roll over anytime soon and acquiesce to the former players’ demands. In all likelihood, if these cases survived summary judgment, they would still have to win over a jury. In fact, a common occurrence in complex litigation entails a few cases being tried, called “bellweather cases,” to forecast their possible success. If the case is successful in front of a jury, then the defendants are often willing to settle as opposed to risking numerous future trials.

However, we are far from the stage of settlement talks, in my opinion. The plaintiffs’ first challenge will be to overcome the NFL’s argument that the cases don’t belong in court (i.e. the lawsuits are barred by the CBA pursuant to Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Action).  In the next few weeks, the multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings should start to pickup, with the NFL filing its motion to dismiss as to all of the lawsuits.

In the interim, the lawsuits will continue to pile on, and they will slowly become “tag-along actions,” joining the MDL in Philadelphia.

As a humorous-side note, one of the plaintiffs is named “Fair Hooker” and another “Les Shy.” Both were fairly accomplished players in the 1960s and ‘70s.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    March 5, 2012

    hey. great article! any idea where i can find: 1) a link to (or info about) the philly MDL; and 2) the cited section of the labor management relation actions? thanks!

    • Paul permalink*
      March 6, 2012

      Thanks for the post! Well, my hope is that my site will provide info about the MDL. I’ll have a post up within the next few days discussing in more detail about the MDL proceedings. In regard to the Labor Management Relations Act, the Section is 301. You can read an informative article about the Act here:

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 8, 2012

        thanks for the response. do you happen to know whether the players filed their opposition to NFL’s motion to dismiss? i saw in an earlier post that the deadline was extended to last week (march 2), and i didn’t see it in the “court documents” tab. thanks!

        • Paul permalink*
          March 8, 2012

          I’ll have a post up in the morning to answer your question. The March 2nd date was set prior to the creation of the MDL, so it’s no longer binding.

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