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“Missouri Law Could Spell Trouble for NFL’s Chiefs in New Concussion Lawsuit,” Concussion Litigation Reporter

February 2014
Joseph M. Hanna

“[A] group of ex-Kansas City Chiefs are suing the Chiefs’ organization itself rather than the [National Football League] as a whole,” writes Joseph M. Hanna, Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment Practice Group and editor of the firm’s Sports Law Insider blog. “Normally, workers’ compensation laws in most states preclude employees (such as NFL alums) from directly suing their employers for injuries incurred on the job. But one unusual law in Missouri does permit employees to bring civil suits against their employers for ‘occupational’ injuries.”

In this article for the February edition of Concussion Litigation Reporter, Joe examines an intriguing case that accuses the Chiefs of failing to provide a safe work environment for its players and failing to warn its players of the risks of head injuries.   

In addition to authoring an article for the February edition, Joe is quoted in two others.

In the first, Joe comments on former Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best’s lawsuit against the NFL and helmet maker Riddell. The former first-round pick retired in 2013 following a series of concussions. As Joe explains, the lawsuit is centered around the anticipation of future medical problems: “Best’s lawsuit appears to be the first proactive suit of its kind, as he is not claiming to currently suffer from some of the more serious head trauma-related ailments (such as dementia or Alzheimer’s), which plague his ex-NFL counterparts.”

In the second, about the death of a 16-year-old high school football player following a helmet-to-helmet head injury, Joe discusses New York State regulations regarding concussed athletes: “Currently, New York does not require schools to conduct baseline mental health tests for student athletes. Schools are required to pull students from a sporting event immediately after they have suffered a concussion, however. Students pulled from a game for this reason may only return to play after remaining symptom-free for at least 24 hours.”

Read the articles here: