This week has been a busy one for lawyers involved with sports-related brain injury lawsuits. Early this week the NCAA and former players accusing the league of endangering the safety of student-athletes reached a preliminary settlement which could relieve much of the league’s issues with brain injuries and improve player safety in the future. Only days after that lawsuit may have reached a major milestone in the legal process, the NHL has been hit with a new class-action lawsuit related to brain injuries.
In the NCAA settlement, the NCAA would establish new concussion protocols which will more thoroughly address player safety and ensure well-established safety precautions are taken. The $75 million deal is described as a “commitment to student-athlete safety” which will provide resources to research and prevention but would not pay individual damage settlements. The settlement does leave the option for individual personal injury suits to be filed however.
The new lawsuit brought against the NHL however alleges that the league took insufficient action to reduce or prevent brain injuries caused by concussive and sub-concussive impacts. There is currently only one plaintiff in the suit filed in the United States District Court in Minnesota, however it is likely other individuals will join.