Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys See an Opening for Players Suing the NFL

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The National Football League has made another play to stuff lawsuits filed by former players who allege they’ve suffered permanent brain injuries as the result of repeated concussions while on the field. The suits, currently consolidated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, name thousands of retired players, both living and dead. Philadelphia personal injury attorney Richard P. Console Jr. believes the arguments made by former players have merits, even if the NFL is attempting to stop litigation from moving forward.

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I don’t know if players could’ve anticipated the types of debilitating injuries they’re suffering with now back when they were younger...

The National Football League has made another play to stuff lawsuits filed by former players who allege they’ve suffered permanent brain injuries as the result of repeated concussions while on the field. The suits, currently consolidated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, name thousands of retired players, both living and dead. Attorneys for the NFL claim the matter is really a “labor dispute” and that the current collective bargaining agreement should control how they settle issues with former players, not the civil justice system, according to court documents. Philadelphia personal injury attorney Richard P. Console Jr. believes the arguments made by former players have merits, even if the NFL is attempting to stop litigation from moving forward.

“I don’t know if players could’ve anticipated the types of debilitating injuries they’re suffering with now back when they were younger,” said Console. “Did the NFL do an adequate job of explaining the risks and working to reduce the head trauma players sustained? That’s what a jury is going to have to decide, if this case goes to trial. It’s going to be contentious right up until the end.”

Court documents filed by the league claim the collective bargaining agreement covers player safety, and that each team has a responsibility to determine player health and the ability to return to play. The motion also states the central argument made by the players lacks any real proof that the NFL concealed the risk of head injuries. Nearly 3,400 players have sued the National Football League claiming they weren’t properly informed of the dangers of concussions and have not adequately provided them with care after their retirement, according to court papers. Console and his team of Philadelphia accident lawyers see common threads in these suits with other personal injury claims.

“Proving negligence in any personal injury claim is about identifying who had a duty to provide care or protection,” Console stated. “You also have to point to a breach of that duty, a foreseeability of risk and that some harm came from that breach. I don’t think there’s any denying that football is a dangerous sport. The players are going to have to show that the NFL knew more about the nature of head injuries than they revealed to the players to be successful in court.”

Several former football players, including Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, have committed suicide in the past year. An autopsy performed on Seau did not reveal any evidence of degenerative brain conditions, according to USA Today. A medical examination of former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, who committed suicide earlier this year, discovered signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease caused by repeated concussions, according to the New York Times. Medical examiners at Boston University also discovered trauma-induced disease in the brain of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson, states the New York Times. Duerson committed suicide in February 2012.

Console & Hollawell P.C. is a personal injury law firm serving accident victims across New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1994. The firm’s award-winning attorneys have obtained tens of millions of dollars in compensation for their clients and been named to several prestigious organizations, including the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.    

Docket #s
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas -- #120900326
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas -- #120401887
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas -- #120400108
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas -- #120303229

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Richard Console