In a nationally distributed sports alert, Bob
Wallace, the chair of TC's Sports Law group, weighed
in on the increased scrutiny over on-field violence in professional
sports, particularly in the National Football League.
As the plaintiffs in a widespread injury case against the NFL consolidate their claims, Wallace analyzed the
issue from the different perspectives of players, league officials
and sports fans. His article appears in the June 2012 Sports
Litigation Alert, a publication of Professional Sports and the Law.
The article is titled, "The Gladiators Must Perform."
"A number of the NFL lawsuits allege the league withheld
information regarding the severity of concussions and their
lingering effects they may have had on players," Wallace
wrote. "Given the violent nature of their sport, it's
worth considering whether NHL players will be the next group of
plaintiffs coming forward against their league."
In the same article, Mike Minton, a partner in
TC's Tobacco Litigation group, tapped his extensive litigation
knowledge to probe the viability of the plaintiffs' claims
against the NFL. His conclusion: The players have an uphill
Chief among their legal hurdles are Daubert-based challenges to
scientific evidence attempting to link concussions to chronic
traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Even if the Daubert hurdles are cleared, Minton wrote, the
plaintiffs face various factual challenges.
"First and foremost is that the players choose to play what
they know is a risky sport," Minton wrote in the article, with
assistance from partner and fellow tobacco litigator Liz Blackwell.
"Football and hockey are prototypical contact sports and
players have been getting their 'bell rung' from the day
they began playing the sport. Very few amateur participants make it
to the professional level, and those who do are well aware that
they have chosen an occupation that is dangerous and poses risks to
nearly all of their body parts, not just their brains.
"Hard hits are an inherent aspect of the sport, and the
players get paid handsomely for their skill and willingness to
Corporate tweeters or bloggers – employees who post promotional and often entertaining commentary on behalf of their employers’ businesses – add much of their own personal brand – their voice, their opinions, their snarky remarks – to the information they are disseminating on the company’s behalf.
In a First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry released at the end of March in a proceeding begun in 2003, the Federal Communications Commission continued its comprehensive review of its rules, policies and procedures governing radiofrequency radiation and limits on exposure to human beings.