Prominent Brain Injury Attorney: NFL and Its Insurers are engaged in ‘Insidious Conspiracy’

Noted New York brain injury attorney Michael V. Kaplen responded to a recent story in the New York Times (Concussion Liability Costs May Rise, and Not Just for NFL) by charging that the League and its insurers are engaged in “an insidious conspiracy to deny injured players access to justice.”

“The sad truth is that insurers, teams, and school districts will all use these rising costs as an excuse to seek limitations on liability and hold school sports programs hostage,” said Kaplen. “Those who cause injuries to innocent victims and insurers always cry foul when the day of reckoning approaches.”

Kaplen, a past chair of the American Association for Justice’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, added that “player safety either in the NFL or in school districts can never be held hostage by this sort of argument. This is an insidious conspiracy to do away with these cases and obtain legislative immunity to purportedly ‘save’ school districts from a ‘flood of litigation.’ I’ve seen no one drown when the ‘floodgates of litigation’ are opened. This is typical rhetoric used to avoid legal liability.”

In analyzing arguments made by the League’s insurance carriers, Kaplen of De Caro & Kaplen (www.BrainLaw.com), LLP, said, “It is also a calculated business decision by insurance carriers to fashion an exit strategy in order to avoid paying out on legitimate claims. Now, in light of these burgeoning lawsuits, they might have to pay out on insurance claims that have never been made before, although they have been collecting premiums for years. In practice, this is similar to homeowner’s insurance companies that are trying to limit their Hurricane Sandy exposure.”

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