Lawsuits filed against the National Football League over damages allegedly caused by repeated traumatic head injuries will consolidated in federal court in Philadelphia, a panel of judges ruled today.
The decision by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation consolidates the cases before U.S. District Judge Anita Brody. The panel’s three-page ruling was filed today in Philadelphia. The NFL and a majority of the plaintiffs support the venue, according to the ruling.
“The subject actions share factual issues arising from allegations against the NFL stemming from injuries sustained while playing professional football,” the panel said in its ruling.
Hundreds of former players, including former quarterback Jim McMahon, have sued the NFL in more than a dozen complaints over allegations that the league ignored the consequences of head injuries in order to promote the sport. In addition to Philadelphia, lawsuits have been filed in California, New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Florida. The NFL has denied the claims.
Last year, the league imposed a protocol on team doctors and trainers to assess players who have sustained concussions during games.
The panel’s ruling focused on four lawsuits, one filed in Philadelphia and three in California. An additional 16 complaints have been filed, the panel said.
The case is In re National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL 2323, U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).