Monday, April 4, 2016

Raiders QB's Ken Stabler's Wife Joins New NFL Concussion Suit - Law360

The latest action against the National Football League is Scroggins V. NFL. The complaint alleges the NFL's behaviour is "strikingly similar" to that of the tobacco companies who supported junk science to undercut evidence of the health effects of cigarette smoking. The plaintiffs seek "relief for medical monitoring, as well as compensation and financial recovery, financial losses, expenses and intangible losses suffered by current living Plaintiffs diagnosed with the degenerative brain disorder, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of the defendant's carelessness, negligence, intentional misconduct, and concealment of information directly related to each Plaintiffs' injuries and losses. This action also seeks to recover fair compensation for the spouses of the player plaintiffs based upon their right to seek loss of consortium."
- gwc
Deceased Raiders QB's Wife Joins New NFL Concussion Suit - Law360

by Zach Zagger

Law360, New York (April 1, 2016, 9:31 PM ET) -- The wife of deceased Oakland Raiders star quarterback Kenny Stabler, who was posthumously found to have suffered from the degenerative brain condition CTE, joined on Friday a racketeering suit in Florida against the NFL alleging it purposefully concealed dangers of repeated head injuries and concussions, including through "junk science."

Rose Stabler, the wife of former Raiders quarterback and NFL MVP Kenny Stabler, who passed away last July, has joined as a named plaintiff in a proposed class action brought by former Detroit Lions linebacker and defensive end Tracy Scroggins, according to an amended complaint filed Friday. The amended complaint also adds two other former players as named plaintiffs, one of whom played as recently as the 2014 to 2015 season.

Kenny Stabler, nicknamed “the Snake,” passed away from colon cancer in July but was posthumously diagnosed as having suffered from the degenerative brain disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy, according to a New York Times report cited in the amended complaint.

The amended complaint comes a week after Scroggins lodged the suit against the NFL on the heels of another report from the Times that said the league used faulty data in its concussion research and drew ties between the league and the tobacco industry, which long used questionable science to hide harmful effects of smoking.

The NFL has since disputed the report and demanded the Times issue a retraction threatening a defamation lawsuit and calling the purported Big Tobacco ties “sensational.” The Times has stood by its reporting.

The lawsuit, which relies on the Times reporting, alleges that the NFL has “actively concealed and actively disputed any correlation between repeated head trauma and CTE” for the past four decades and sought to suppress the findings of others who found a connection through the 1990s and 2000s.

“Despite its knowledge of the grave risks players in the NFL have been exposed to because of the defendant's concerted inaction or concealment of safety information, the defendant carelessly failed to take reasonable steps to develop appropriate and necessary steps to alert players to their risk of long-term neurogenic illness,” the amended suit alleged.

Last year, the NFL reached an uncapped settlement with a class of former players in a multidistrict litigation over concussions. That settlement is being challenged by some who say it does not do enough for the players with CTE.

But the amended complaint further said many former players, such as Stabler, who are diagnosed with CTE following an April 2015 cutoff and their families are not entitled to anything under the settlement. If not for that condition in the settlement, Stabler's family could recover approximately $980,000, the amended complaint said.

"The NFL Concussion Settlement fails to address CTE and grotesquely denies any recovery for NFL players alive and dead with and from CTE," attorney Tim Howard of Howard & Associates PA, who is representing the plaintiffs, told Law360.

The complaint brings claims of concealment, civil conspiracy and negligence against the NFL and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. It calls for the establishment of a medical monitoring program for players who are believed to suffer from long-term brain injury and also seeks compensation, expenses and “intangible losses” on behalf of former NFL players and their spouses under the “right to seek loss of consortium.”

The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

The plaintiffs are represented by represented by Tim Howard of Howard & Associates PA.

Counsel information for the NFL was not immediately available on Friday.

The case is Tracy Scroggins et al. v. National Football League, case number 0:16-cv-60644, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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