A judge has thrown out the concussion lawsuit filed a year ago by former players against the union.
A federal judge in Missouri has dismissed the concussion lawsuit filed last summer by several former players, including six-time Pro Bowler Neil Smith and Vikings defensive lineman Christian Ballard, against the NFL Players Association, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. The lawsuit alleged that the union did not provide accurate information to its members about the risks of head injuries.
The former players were seeking “medical monitoring and financial compensation for long-term chronic injuries, financial losses, expenses and intangible losses,” and specifically mentioned that the NFLPA did not do enough to warn the players about the effects of traumatic brain injuries.
Florio reports that the judge cited two specific flaws in the lawsuit:
The judge found that the claims are barred by the federal Labor Management Relations Act, and that they were not timely filed under the six-month deadline that applies to claims under the Labor Management Relations Act.
In a statement issued by the union immediately following the filing of the lawsuit last July, the NFLPA defended itself by claiming that it “has made the health and safety of its members a priority,” and boasted that the improvements in concussion-related protocol and education among the players has been “a direct result” of their efforts.
This is not the first (nor likely the last) time former players have filed a concussion lawsuit. In 2013, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 players in a suit against the NFL for brain injuries suffered on the field, which was later revised to remove cap limits on the settlement. A final settlement is still pending.
Although this most recent case has been thrown out, it’s still subject to appeal, so we’re likely not done talking about the NFL and concussion lawsuits for some time.