Oral arguments scheduled for NFL concussion litigation

By Jon Campisi | Jan 31, 2013

The judge overseeing the National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation

that has been consolidated at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia has scheduled oral arguments in the case.

In a Jan. 29 noticed filed at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody set April 9 as the date when she will hear arguments for the first time in the multidistrict litigation.

Lawyers representing allegedly injured players and those representing the NFL will argue the NFL’s motion to dismiss the amended long-form complaint, the motion to dismiss the master administrative class action complaint, and the motion to dismiss filed by All American Sports Corp.

The plaintiffs will have five minutes to state their claim while the NFL and All American Sports Corporation defendants will have about a half-hour to argue their motions.

The plaintiffs will then be given 30 minutes to respond, followed by a five-minute defense response period.

The main argument on April 9 will deal with the issue of preemption.

The plaintiffs, current and former professional football players who allege the NFL misled them on the long-term risks associated with head trauma on the field, have argued that their claims are not covered by the collective bargaining agreement, and that the claims can properly be addressed in civil court.

The defendants, however, have stressed that the players’ injury claims are preempted by the collective bargaining agreement.

As of last month, the litigation has grown to encompass more than 4,000 former player plaintiffs in close to 200 individual complaints.

The lawsuits have since been consolidated as an MDL case playing out in Philadelphia’s federal court.

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