Tag Archives: class action

Class-Action Plaintiffs Respond to FIFA’s Attempt to Dismiss their Concussion Lawsuit

Concussion Litigation Reporter — April 2015

The plaintiffs in Mehr v. Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), didn’t mince words in responding to FIFA’s motion to dismiss their 2014 lawsuit.

The current and former soccer players re-affirmed their position that FIFA’s approach to managing the concussion problem is a “scattershot, piecemeal and ineffective approach to critical health and safety issues,” or exactly “what has led to the defendants’ woefully inadequate management of youth concussions.”

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in 2014 against FIFA as well as the U.S. Youth Soccer and American Youth Soccer leagues. The leagues are responsible for over three million child and adolescent soccer players in the United States.

They alleged that the defendants …

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Ex-NFL Players File Written Objections to NFL’s Proposed Concussion Settlement

Sports law attorney Joseph Hanna of Goldberg Segalla provided some analysis earlier this week about how a group of Ex-NFL players filed written objections to the NFL’s proposed concussion settlement. That analysis follows:

“The  main thrust of the objections revolves around CTE, a neurodegenerative disease that can only be diagnosed through autopsy.  The objectors’ medical experts, Dr. Stern and Dr. Gandy, attempts to establish traumatic brain injuries as a causation of CTE.  A major issue with CTE is that, since it cannot be diagnosed while an aggrieved player experiences its symptoms in life, players experiencing the early CTE symptoms cannot likely recover compensation under the settlement’s baseline monitoring program.Joseph Hanna

“The objecting group also argues that the CTE diagnosis problem causes a fatal conflict within the settlement class.  Because CTE cannot be diagnosed in life, the group argues that the settlement favors currently injured class members at the expense of members who will later die or later be diagnosed with CTE. The group also takes issue with the settlement’s failure to credit seasons played in NFL’s European league.  The NFL has until December 11 to file with the court its written response.”

The firm’s blog, Sports and Entertainment Law Insider can be found at http://sportslawinsider.com/

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Concussion Lawsuit against IHSA Could Open Floodgates

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from the December issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter)

Time will tell whether a class action lawsuit filed earlier this month by a former high school quarterback against the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) will be the first of many copycat lawsuits around the country.

The plaintiff in the case is Daniel Bukal, who was a star quarterback at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Ill. from 1999 to 2003. The plaintiff, who never played college football, alleged in the lawsuit that the “criteria” for returning him to the playing field “was not uniform and followed no consistent, medical protocol that would ensure (that his) return to the field would be safe.” Because of this, he allegedly suffered multiple concussions, which have led to migraines and some memory loss.

Like many associations, the IHSA did not have concussion protocols in place at the time. This placed Bukal and other high school football players at risk, according to the lawsuit.

Bukal, who is represented by Chicago-based attorney Joseph Siprut, is asking the IHSA to tighten rules regarding head injuries and concussions, and include baseline testing and other initiatives. Siprut represented several former college athletes in the recent concussion lawsuit against the NCAA. That litigation was settled with the NCAA committing $70 million to a medical monitoring program to test athletes for traumatic brain injuries. The settlement, which is before a judge, is mired in some controversy about who the winner in the case is – the plaintiffs, their attorneys, or the NCAA.

Siprut told the media that he intends to file lawsuits against other state high school athletic associations. He has not targeted the National Federation of State High School Associations because it does not exert the same control over its members that the NCAA does.

As for the Illinois litigation, the class being specified includes every high school football player who participated for an IHSA member school from 2002 to the present.

Among some of the more unique aspects of the lawsuit …

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