NFL, Players Ordered to Mediate in Class-Action Lawsuit over Head Trauma

footballTo be fair, football has never been a low impact game.
How can football players sue the National Football League’s (NFL) for exposing them
to the harm resulting from playing a game known for being a contact sport? What
changed from the start in the 1970s to the present is the advancement of science.
Research has increasingly revealed the long-term impact of repeated head trauma
resulting from not only playing pro-football, but from following the rules that the
NFL administers. The number of former players displaying similar issues of
diminished quality of life—i.e, “headaches, dizziness, dementia and/or Alzheimer’s
disease that many retired players have experienced” as stated in the class-action
lawsuit—created a community rife for taking remedial legal action. The plaintiffs
claim that the NFL not only was negligent but that it willfully concealed knowledge
of these long-term effects caused by repeated head trauma.
Virtually every legal observer agrees that mediation was a smart move. Very few
companies can expect to be sued in a class action, because certifying a class requires
a group of plaintiffs similarly situated whom one person can represent. So how can
you tell if mediation and negotiating a settlement will help your conflict?
Similar to the NFL case, here are some good tips to know when you should mediate a
claim made against you or your company:

1. When the variables of how much the outcome may cost are undetermined;
or,
2. The issues being decided go beyond legal definitions, such as damages for
loss of consortium or a case based on equity; and,. Before a lawsuit is even filed.
Also, keep in mind that mediating a conflict to resolution keeps the matter private,
per a private agreement that can be enforced in court. If the entire dispute gets
handled exclusively in court, the ongoing dispute is public.
Mediating and negotiating an outcome should include speaking with an experienced
and reputable mediator, such as Chris McGrath. Often the value of alternate dispute
resolution avoids a head-on collision between the parties.

This publication and the information is intended to be general in nature.  It is not legal advice, nor is it intended as such.  You should consult with an attorney to determine how laws or decision impact your particular circumstances.   

About Chris McGrath

I’m a Carmel, Indiana business attorney providing business counsel, commercial litigation and mediation services based on over 20 years of experience. My firm is founded on a principle of supporting others’ advancement and achievement, and my core values are service, passion, faith & loyalty.Chris McGrath’s Google+ Profile