Sports-Related Concussion Lawsuits: Litigating in the Tidal Wave of Individual and Class Claims

Navigating Claims Against Professional Teams, Colleges, Sports Leagues and Conferences, High Schools, and Youth Organizations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Thursday, October 20, 2016

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will address class and individual litigation strategies being used in sports-related concussion lawsuits against professional teams, colleges, sports leagues and conferences, high schools and youth organizations, and equipment manufacturers seeking significant compensation for players who sustained brain injuries while playing sports.

Description

Numerous lawsuits have been filed in the past few years against colleges and professional sports leagues and conferences alleging negligence over the handling of head trauma injuries of players involved in sports. This year at least 50 additional class action suits are expected on behalf of tens of thousands of former athletes seeking recovery for concussion injuries.

This wave of concussion lawsuits comes on the heels of a nearly $1 billion settlement between the NFL and 20,000 retired players last year. The lawsuits are targeting colleges, conferences, high schools, youth sports organizations, and equipment manufacturers on the basis of concussion injuries due to any and all contact sports, creating new legal challenges for class defense attorneys.

The lawsuits allege that coaches and trainers are not trained to spot symptoms of concussions and allowed players to continue to play despite multiple head injuries. Further, plaintiffs claim defendants failed to warn players of risks involved with head injuries, possibly resulting in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The high-dollar settlements and judgments pave the way for more sports concussion claims and class actions, making these claims a likely candidate to be the "new" asbestos, tobacco, lead paint for ongoing and multi-billion dollar judgments and settlements.

Yet those making claims run up against the fact that the mechanism of concussion and the types and amount of force causing it are still very much in dispute. With the medical community unable to give clear answers, how can cases truly survive Daubert challenges if they go beyond a failure to warn and failure to diagnose cause of action? These are not open and shut cases, and trial in the press is not the same as trial in court.

Listen as our panel of authoritative experts addresses the issues that arise in sports-related concussion lawsuits, the strategies being used by counsel litigating these claims, damage methodology, and various settlement structures.

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Outline

  1. Status of current sports concussion-related litigation
  2. Plaintiff theories
  3. Defense tactics
  4. Relief
    1. Monetary damages
    2. Injunctive relief for medical monitoring
    3. Settlement structures
  5. Class certification
    1. Commonality
    2. Predominance
  6. Class settlements
    1. Medical monitoring programs
    2. Claims for personal injury
    3. Objectors

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What causes of action are successfully asserted in sport-related concussion lawsuits?
  • What are the key hurdles for counsel pursuing or defending against class actions for sports concussion injuries?
  • What are viable defenses to sports-related concussion claims and related class action lawsuits?
  • How are sports concussion damages calculated?
  • How can settlements be structured to account for the unknown future impact of head injuries?

Faculty

Mark S. Granger
Mark S. Granger

Founder
Granger Legal Consulting

Mr. Granger has been a leader and a routinely sought resource for manufacturers since 1976. He advises clients on...  |  Read More

Gary Wolensky
Gary Wolensky

Shareholder
Buchalter Nemer

Mr. Wolensky focuses his practice on the defense of manufacturers and retailers in consumer class actions, product...  |  Read More

Additional faculty
to be announced.

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