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NFL, Ex-Players Ordered to Mediation in Concussion Cases

NFL, Former Players Ordered to Mediation in Concussion Cases
The National Football League is seeking to have lawsuits filed by more than 4,000 former players dismissed. Photographer: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

July 9 (Bloomberg) -- The judge overseeing litigation brought by thousands of former National Football League players over head injuries ordered the parties into mediation ahead of a ruling on the league’s request to dismiss the lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia ordered the league and retired players to enter into settlement talks with Layn Phillips, a former federal judge, as mediator. Brody yesterday also ordered all parties and their lawyers not to publicly discuss the mediation process.

The NFL is seeking to have lawsuits filed by more than 4,000 former players dismissed. In cases consolidated before Brody, the athletes accuse the league of negligence and failing to inform them of the link between repeated traumatic head impacts and long-term brain injuries.

Brody was scheduled to rule on the league’s motion to dismiss on July 22. She has now asked for a progress report on talks by Sept. 3. An order on the NFL’s motion won’t be entered until then, according to the filing.

The case is In re National Football Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, 12-md-02323, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

To contact the reporter on this story: Sophia Pearson in Philadelphia at spearson3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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