Another CTE Lawsuit

Most of you know that as part of their “settlement” in the NFL Concussion Lawsuit, the League tried to dodge a bullet – or two – in not including or acknowledging the long-term problems of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) once the settlement was in place.

But for the players who died before the settlement, there was a window open for those who had CTE confirmed in their brains after death.

Adrian Robinson Jr

The estate for Adrian Robinson just entered a CTE/Wrongful Death Lawsuit against the NFL earlier this week with the US District Court of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The Brad Sohn Law Firm and Andreozzi Associates filed a suit against the NFL and Riddell et al. Robinson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and had also played for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers as well. He committed suicide in May 2015 at the age of 25. Boston University confirmed the presence of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in a subsequent brain autopsy. Continue reading

Matt Chaney: History of American Football con’d

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our friend, Matt Chaney, continues to weave his incredibly fascinating history of American football.

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Civil War camps were major conduits for football’s cultural reach. Military units from everywhere, North and South, indulged the game as a fun substitute for drill, boredom — and an intense outlet for male aggression. Kicking a football was risky enough, especially for hurting legs, but many troops preferred rough action favored by college students, more body contact. “Foot ball and boxing matches are of frequent occurrence,” read a Union dispatch from Washington camps in October 1861, “and are participated in with much spirit.”

Outdoor athletics rose in prominence after the war, with “base ball” surging ahead before gladiatorial sport quickly caught up. Boxing garnered headlines although largely negative because of prizefighting’s illegality. News spotlight trained on the fresh import from England, Rugby School football. Rugby featured ball-carriers and tacklers on the run and colliding, daredevil entertainment for spectators. Continue reading

NFL Painkiller Lawsuit Dismissed

Well, that was a surprise.

Today, Judge Alsup limited the scope and plaintiffs in closing the NFL Painkiller lawsuit. Only 9 players and 12 claims will stand as part of the dismissal and summary judgment in this suit. The judge claims the lawyers and plaintiffs were cherry-picking their players and examples cited in the long, original filings. Hope there’s an appeal on this ruling. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs’ attorneys have until June 1st to file their motions for class certification on the remaining claims.

We uploaded this 14-page filing to Scribd for easy viewing on our Blog and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close). (You can also download the entire document by clicking on that Download icon also in the lower right corner of the viewing screen.)

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss – Summary Judgment on Scribd

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Harvard Football Players Health Study Released

Harvard has been conducting a large study over several years, collecting information on physical and brain injuries of NFL football players and comparing the results with injuries in other professional sports (NHL, MLB, MLS, NBA, CFL). Many of you have participated and this detailed study was just released May 15, 2017.

We hope to be posting some interesting findings as this study circulates.

We uploaded this 285-page study to Scribd for easy viewing on our Blog and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close). (You can also download the entire document by clicking on that Download icon also in the lower right corner of the viewing screen.)

Harvard Football Players Health Study Released on Scribd

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Sheilla Dingus: The CTE Lawsuit that Made it to Court

EDITOR’S NOTE: So why hasn’t this wrongful death lawsuit gotten the coverage that other lawsuits have received? Earlier this year,the NFL lost their arguments to block this suit from moving forward. And it was because of CTE! Our friend, Sheilla Dingus, explains some of the important details that come back to bite the NFL in the a$$!

Recent Court Ruling in DeCarlo Wrongful Death Lawsuit May Prove Beneficial to Other CTE Cases

by Sheilla Dingus
January 28, 2017

Art DeCarlo • Steelers

In November 2015 a wrongful death lawsuit (attached below) was filed against the NFL by Arthur DeCarlo Jr., son of Arthur “Art” DeCarlo Sr., who was a defensive back in the NFL from 1953 through 1960. Drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1953, DeCarlo Sr. was quickly traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he played for a year prior to enlistment in the Army. While still in the Army, his contract was traded to the Washington Redskins. Afterward, he finished his NFL career playing for the Baltimore Colts from 1957 – 1960. “DeCarlo was exposed to numerous concussive and sub-concussive blows throughout his NFL career, [including] . . . loss-of-consciousness concussions where DeCarlo was subsequently returned to game play within the same game, within several plays of having been rendered unconscious,” states DeCarlo Jr., in the lawsuit. Continue reading

Just Say NO to Drugs, Roger!

So in recent weeks, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has used his soap box to condemn marijuana use by players as an alternative to the addictive opioids and other painkillers that the League’s team doctors continue to administer to their players. But what he seems to forget is that the current CBA actually had to finally acknowledge that each team doctor is tied by their Hippocratic Oath to put their patients’ well-being over the teams’ interests, as has generally been the case over the years. For the League, it’s always been about ROI (Return On Investment) regardless of any player’s health.

As part of the Dent vs NFL lawsuit, Richard Dent’s attorneys also pointed out that team doctors have generally been in violation of federal, state and local laws in many instances when they transport painkillers across the country while accompanying their teams to keep these players drugged and ready to play through their injuries. The NFLPA also chimed in and cites the clarification in the current CBA (as cited and attached in this NFL filing). The PA has even been pushing for no penalties on use of medical marijuana lately.

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Concussion Settlement Misinformation Continues…

It’s always a good thing when the media continues to cover the plight of the retired players. But is it just me or do the stories keep getting more and more inaccurate? I mean, where do they come up with this sh*t? I continue to correct the media every time it’s reported that it’s an $875 million settlement.

It’s NOT! The cap was officially removed – and all with the NFL’s loving approval – when the judge had it explained to her that it would be insufficient to cover all the possible claimants past, present and future. And of course, the League went along with it without any objections so the settlement would go through without a full-blown trial and any discovery. And most of us know why. Based on their long and established history of rigging the entire approval process from start to finish, is there any doubt that the majority of players applying for their concussion benefits will likely get kicked to the curb after going through a long and arduous process? Just as in the past with their earned pensions and disability benefits? Can a tiger ever change its stripes?

So then this coverage comes out of ABC affiliate WFAA out of Dallas TX. While it’s always a good thing to see media coverage on the NFL CONCUSSION Lawsuit, inaccurate reporting never helps anyone. There is NO CTE coverage – let alone acknowledgment – in the Concussion Settlement Offer. Period. And of course, the NFL couldn’t be happier with this media “cooperation” in protecting their false image.

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From TEDx 2016: David Camarillo – Why helmets don’t prevent concussions — and what might

An interesting 16-minute talk from former college football player David Camarillo and currently Assistant Professor at Stanford University.

Aaron Hernandez Found Dead in Prison Cell

One more tragic ending to what started as a very promising career. Does anyone have any doubt about the role brain injuries had in all of this?

Aaron Hernandez, former NFL player, found dead in prison cell, officials say

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star who was convicted of murder in 2015, killed himself in his prison cell Wednesday morninghttp://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/19/aaron-hernandez-former-nfl-player-found-dead-in-prison-cell-officials-say.html, officials said.

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Working for Your Money

Rickey Dixon played as a cornerback and special teams player for the Oklahoma Sooners and later for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Raiders & LA Raiders (’88 – ’93). In 2011, Rickey started to notice the first signs of ALS or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was eventually diagnosed in 2013 and has been rapidly declining since.

These players fought the NFL over brain injuries. Now they’re fighting to keep the money

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Déjà vu… Again!

In a move that’s sure to sound familiar to most retired players who have tried to access their earned disability benefits in the past, lawyers from both sides of the concussion “settlement” have agreed to the NFL’s proposal to set up two panels to review (and approve or disapprove) appeals. The two players named in this agreement were Kevin Turner and Shawn Wooden – represented by Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss LLP – and the League was represented by Brad Karp from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

We all know how fair the NFL always plays when it comes to handing out disability benefits that each retired players has already owned: Run your ass through a long and arduous process, often even finding you 80%+ disabled and then still managing to have their panel unanimously turn you down. Then on and on through and appeals process that you already know is not going to end well. And never mind that one of their original two doctors on their concussion committee turned out to be rheumatologist (who got his degree from Mexico!) Read that earlier post by clicking HERE.

But what does Weiss know or even care about the long history of abuse to the players? They’re already too busy fighting with the other lawyers over who’s going to get a bigger piece of the $112 million in legal fees that the NFL dangled in front of their noses.

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Sheilla Dingus: The Lawyers’ Feeding Frenzy

We’re watching the REAL fight now that Judge Brody has declared the concussion lawsuit as a done deal. And it’s not for the retired players. If these lawyers had put in half the energy they”re now putting into their battle over contingency and legal fees…

Our friend, Sheilla Dingus, found herself following this lawsuit after first being drawn into football when she covered the DeflateGate fiasco last year; Sheilla created a blog Advocacy for Fairness in Sports and writes from the perspective of how our professional athletes generally seem to be the last ones to be taken care of in any sport when in fact – as we’ve also advocated for years – it’s the athletes who are actually the critical component of all sports. Without the players, there’s no football. Or baseball. Or soccer. Etc.

With her permission, here’s Sheilla’s detailed piece on the lawyer’s nasty battle so far. Continue reading

Adult Supervision Called In

In my years of involvement with retired players, I don’t recall ever seeing any cases where the players have taken each other on over who-gets-what. Not so of course when it comes to lawyers apparently. Which is another obvious tactic I’m sure the NFL and its lawyers never imagined would happen <sarcasm>.

Judge Anita Brody just filed an order appointing a regional Magistrate Judge David R. Strawbridge to oversee individual liens filed by attorneys involved in the original consolidated lawsuit. Seems no one can decide how to be fair so now the judge has to bring in more adult supervision.

Order Referring Individual Attorney’s Liens to Magistrate Judge

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Gambling? We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Gambling!

And this is how Jerry Jones, Roger Goodell’s boss, will be making money from the Raiders’ move to Vegas in 2019.

And it’s not just a few million…

Gambling? We don’t need no steenkin’ gambling!

Jerry Jones to cash in big with Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas

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Evan Weiner: Goodell And NFL Against Sports Gambling

EDITOR’S NOTE: So most of you retired players know a lot about all the betting that goes on behind every game everywhere. I still remember some of your stories about the old legends of Al Davis flying in to Vegas on Monday nights following a weekend of games back in the day. Rumor had it that he carried a briefcase full of cash with him and used it all to buy his chips. After partying and everything else (maybe even a little tabletop gambling as well), he’d call it a night and cash all his chips back in, effectively also “declaring his winnings and letting them skim any ‘taxes’ owed…” Alleged to have been going on for years and he certainly wasn’t the only owner playing on the sidelines…

Ironic how the Raiders are now approved to move to Vegas in  2019, isn’t it?

Our friend, Evan Weiner, recently posted a piece about Roger Goodell and the NFL’s official stance on gambling. Here it is with their express permission to re-post:

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