Tags: NFL | pain | lawsuit | drug

NFL Wins Dismissal of Ex-Players' Pain Drug Misuse Lawsuit

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 06:12 PM

The National Football League won dismissal of a lawsuit by ex-players accusing it of giving athletes painkillers and other drugs to mask injuries, after a judge ruled that collective bargaining rules block such complaints.

Retired players including ex-Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon alleged in the lawsuit, filed in May, that there was a “culture of drug misuse” in the NFL in which the league administered cocktails of medications, including opioids, local anesthetics and anti-inflammatory drugs, so players could continue to play while injured. Some players claimed they have suffered permanent physical damage as a result.

The case is part of a broader effort by athletes, through litigation, to be compensated for injuries. The ruling comes as a federal judge in Philadelphia is weighing final approval on the league’s $765 million settlement of head injury claims.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the NFL has taken many steps to address players’ medical care by requiring clubs to protect their health and safety as part of collective bargaining agreements with players’ unions. Player lawsuits over provisions of those agreements that would require courts to interpret the accords are barred by the Labor Management Relations Act, Alsup said.

The retired players can take up their claims through grievance procedures and arbitration with the league, he said.

“The league has addressed these serious concerns in a serious way, by imposing duties on the clubs via collective bargaining and placing a long line of health-and-safety duties on the team owners themselves,” Alsup said. He gave the ex- players until Dec. 30 to request to refile the case.

Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, declined to comment on Alsup’s ruling. William Sinclair, an attorney for the retired players, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

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The National Football League won dismissal of a lawsuit by ex-players accusing it of giving athletes painkillers and other drugs to mask injuries, after a judge ruled that collective bargaining rules block such complaints.Retired players including ex-Chicago Bears...
NFL, pain, lawsuit, drug
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2014-12-17
Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 06:12 PM
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