May 16, 2013
Scheuerman on Class Certification in NFL Concussion Litigation
TortsProf's Sheila Scheuerman has posted to SSRN The NFL Concussion Litigation: A Critical Assessment of Class Certification. The abstract provides:In the world of high-stakes class action litigation, a new theory is emerging that seeks to overcome the longstanding hurdles that have precluded certification of personal injury class actions: the "medical monitoring" class action. A recent example is the concussion-related lawsuits brought by former football players against the National Football League. The players allege that the NFL concealed the long term effects of on-field head injury, and failed to warn players of the risks of harm from repeated concussions. The players only seek class certification on a medical monitoring claim — a tort that may allow asymptomatic plaintiffs to recover anticipated medical testing. Like the putative personal injury class or no-injury class, however, aggregation of medical monitoring claims presents its own individual issues that preclude class certification under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
This symposium essay examines the class certification issues presented by the "NFL concussion" litigation. The essay presents the history and status of this litigation, provides an overview of concussion science, and examines the players’ claims against current standards for class certification. The essay concludes that the players’ medical monitoring claim as currently pled fails to satisfy the criteria for class certification. This does not mean that these plaintiffs have no redress against the NFL. It means only that the NFL players need to employ the traditional personal injury lawsuit — not the class action device — to pursue their relief.
March 27, 2013
Rapp on NFL Concussions
Geoff Rapp (Toledo) has posted to SSRN his contribution to Howard Wasserman's symposium, Suicide, Concussions, and the NFL. The abstract provides:
This contribution to a FIU Law Review symposium on concussions in the NFL explores the state of the science and the possibility that the family of a former NFL player could recover from the NFL in the event that the former player committed suicide. While the link between brain injury, depression and suicide is both logical and supported by some emerging science, the paper suggests that significant legal obstacles would confront any such claim.
March 06, 2013
Culhane on the NASCAR Debris Cloud
John Culhane (Widener) has a piece in Slate about spectators injured by by flying objects, with a focus on last month's NASCAR crash.
March 05, 2013
Idaho Declines to Adopt Baseball Rule
In an interlocutory appeal, the Idaho Supreme Court declined to adopt the "baseball rule," limiting a stadium operator's liability for foul balls. The case, Rountree v. Boise Ball (pdf), involved a Boise Hawks minor league game. Bud Rountree was hit in the eye by a foul ball, and sued the stadium owners and the Boise Hawks for negligence. On interlocutory appeal, the Idaho Supreme Court held that "[w]hether watching baseball is inherently dangerous, and the degrees of fault to be apportioned to Rountree and Boise Baseball, are questions for the jury." A Retuers report has more.
August 25, 2012
MD: Pro Football Injury Covered by Workers' Comp
George Conk at TortsToday has the story.
May 17, 2012
Magliocca on the NFL Concussion Suit
Over at CoOp, Gerard Magliocca examines the suit against the NFL.
April 11, 2012
NFL Concussion Website
A 3L at UMKC, Paul Anderson, is running a website devoted to concussion-related suits against the NFL and helmet manufacturers. Entitled NFL Concussion Litigation, it can be accessed here.
Thanks to Alex Long for the tip.
November 13, 2011
Here in central Pennsylvania it's all Penn State, all the time. Donald Gilliland of the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News wrote a column about the school's potential legal troubles. I'm quoted mostly for an evidentiary point, but the civil angle is covered by others.
Updated: Alberto Bernabe has links and analysis here.
July 29, 2011
Culhane on the NFL Concussion Suit
My Widener colleague John Culhane has published his analysis of the NFL concussion suit, "Concussions and Cigarettes," in Slate.
July 21, 2011
NFL Players Suing Over Head Injuries
The WSJ Law Blog has the details of the suit, which names both the league itself and helmet maker Riddell.
December 23, 2010
NY: Golfer Not Liable for Failure to Yell "Fore"
The New York Court of Appeals affirmed the Appellate Division's dismissal of a golfer's tort action based on his golfing partner's failure to warn of an impending swing of the club:
"The manner in which Anand was injured — being hit without warning by a ’shanked’ shot while one searches for one’s own ball — reflects a commonly appreciated risk of golf,” the judges wrote. --CJR
"The manner in which Anand was injured — being hit without warning by a ’shanked’ shot while one searches for one’s own ball — reflects a commonly appreciated risk of golf,” the judges wrote.
September 30, 2010
Teaching Torts with Sports
Adam Epstein (Central Michigan College of Business) has posted to SSRN Teaching Torts with Sports. The abstract provides:
The purpose of this paper is to offer a pedagogical road map for an alternative way to engage students when arriving at the torts portion of the business law or legal environment course. It is designed to encourage utilizing sports cases and sport-related videos when teaching torts which can be effective and energizing. My research demonstrates that the prominence of sports related tort cases and examples are much more apparent in the negligence and intentional tort categories than in products liability or strict liability. More specifically, an effective way to relate the concept of negligence in sports is in the context of flying objects such as foul balls, bats, and hockey pucks. Incorporating intentional torts and sports usually begins with hits after the play, a pitcher intentionally hitting the batter, and the incidents of violence involving participants, fans, referees, coaches and parents. One of the best examples of products liability is the safety debate between using wooden baseball bats in professional baseball and the metal or aluminum bats in college baseball. Strict liability involving ultra-hazardous activities has its place for discussion in sports torts, but the breadth of litigation on the subject is clearly the least common of the four major tort categories rendering it virtually non-existent. Instructors are given hints as to how to engage students with sports torts regardless of their educational generation. Contemporary and classic cases are provided as examples.
July 01, 2010
The "Most-Sued Mascot in Sports" is Sued Again
The Phillie Phanatic, named by Bob Jarvis (Nova Southeastern) as the "most-sued mascot in sports," is adding to his tally. His latest round of litigation was brought by a woman claiming the Phanatic injured her knees when he climbed through the stands at a 2008 game in Reading, PA (home of the Phillies AA minor league club). Coverage is here: Philly.com; ABA Journal.