Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On the new concussion class action lawsuit against the NHL.

Concussion lawsuits against sports organizations are in vogue. The NFL recently settled a class action lawsuit for $765M. The NCAA is currently facing one. Now, former NHL players filed a class action complaint against the NHLThe number of plaintiffs started at 10, but has grown to more than 200. All of the concussion lawsuits center around a condition called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The NHL players' suit alleges the same culpable conduct on the NHL's part as the former NFL players' suit alleged against the NFL: that the league withheld information and research on the effects of repeated head trauma.

With the NHL suit, it is pretty simple. If the NHL withheld information from the players, then it will likely be found liable or will pay a lot of money in settling. The opposite is not true. If the NHL does settle for a lot of money, it does not necessarily mean that it would be found liable if the case went to trial. When the NFL settled its class action, it admitted no liability.

The players will still need to file a motion for class certification. At this point, they just filed the class action complaint, which leaves the door open for class certification. Individual federal district courts set their own rules regarding deadlines for class certification.

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