Lawsuit against the NFL and the helmet manufacturer

Head trauma in the NFL is a real problem as evidenced by a lawsuit that former players in Alabama and across the nation brought against the league. The NFL has now decided to set a specific course of action in order to resolve the matter. First, players will receive a notice that they must respond to if they want to file their own claim for a brain injury or head trauma. They could face a long, drawn-out process in the case.

If they opt into the settlement, they will receive compensation. The specific amount will be decided by a court-appointed administrator who is an expert in health matters. That individual will evaluate the player's injury and damage and consider the length of their career. Some players may not be eligible for a claim. Medical monitoring is also a consideration in how much they receive.

In other pending litigation, the NFL and Riddell, the company that manufactured the official helmets used by the NFL, entered into discussions with players. Although the NFL reached a settlement with the players, Riddell continues negotiations in the case. Some of the issues include allegations that the helmet design wasn't safe and didn't properly protect players, in part because they didn't have enough padding. The lawsuit further alleges that while Riddell could improve the helmet design, they haven't made any changes. The company finally printed a warning on the helmets although it was still not enough. The players are accusing Riddell of negligence in the manufacture of the helmets.

When a company is negligent in the manufacturing of a product and it results in injury to someone as a result, the victim could have grounds to file a lawsuit. A personal injury attorney might be able to help clients with a legal claim.

Source: Sports Illustrated, "The Other Lawsuit", Andrew Brandt, October 26, 2013

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