Earlier this summer, a large number of former NFL players filed lawsuits against the league. The lawsuits accused the league of negligence and contended that it failed to inform the players of medical risks associated with the sport. Specifically, the suits indicated the NFL failed to tell players “of the link between repeated traumatic head impacts and long-term brain injuries, including early onset of Alzheimer’s, dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”
Since the approximately 143 lawsuits were filed by these ex-football stars and their significant others, the NFL has encountered problems with its insurers. In a lawsuit filed by the league against over 30 different insurance companies, the NFL has claimed that the insurers have refused to pay for defending the lawsuits filed by the former players.
The NFL contends in the suit that the insurance companies are in breach of contract. The league has claimed that it has already paid approximately $5 million to initiate its defense against the players’ lawsuits.
The NFL’s complaint states, “The duty-to-defend policies contractually impose on each issuing insurer a duty to defend any suit against the NFL and/or NFL Properties on account of bodily or personal injury covered or potentially covered by the policy.”
Regardless of how the NFL’s suit against its insurers progresses, the lawsuits filed by the former players will continue. The players contend the NFL concealed important data from them indicating continuous head trauma on the field could lead to permanent brain injuries in the future. Many players now suffer from such injuries, and believe the NFL could have done more to help prevent their medical conditions.
Source: Bloomberg, “NFL Sues Insurers Over Refusal To Defend Of Head Injury Lawsuits,” Edvard Pettersson, August 15, 2012.
Our firm handles situations in which individuals sustain head injuries due to the negligence of another. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Los Angeles head and brain injury page.