In an article that apppeared in the Sports Business Journal, a journalist quoted Bill Gould, former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board and currently a Stanford Law School professor, about the NFL’s position that the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement it has with the players nullifies the dozens of concussion lawsuits being brought by ex-players.
“I approach the NFL argument with some measure of skepticism,” Gould told the SBJ. “The mere fact that there is a CBA with dispute-resolution procedures is only the beginning [of the analysis].”
He added that the NFL will likely point to the Korey Stringer case as support. Stringer was the Minnesota Vikings lineman who collapsed and died during a workout in August of 2001. After his family sued the NFL, a federal court dismissed the case, citing the presence of the CBA.
In its initial arguments last fall, the league pointed to Stringer v. National Football League, writing that a federal court “considered a claim against the NFL nearly identical to this — premised on the NFL’s alleged failure ‘to minimize the risk of heat-related illness,’ and ‘establish regulations’ to ensure ‘adequate care and monitoring of players suffering from heat-related illness’ … [and] held that plaintiff’s claim was completely preempted by [labor law].”