Lawsuit settlements beget more lawsuits to settle.
This stands as a reason why the late NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle fought the USFL in court rather than surrendered in a lawyer’s office. The NFL lost that lawsuit. In winning triple damages of $3 plus interest, the USFL lost their league.
Many of the litigants who won a $765 million concession from the NFL over the concussion lawsuit have reemerged as plaintiffs in a new class-action lawsuit against the league. Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, teammates Richard Dent and Keith Van Horne, and Cardinals receiver Roy Green stand as the most noteworthy retired players in this current suit who also joined the concussion suit, whose settlement awaits approval from a federal judge.
The new lawsuit against the $10 billion football outfit alleges that “the NFL has intentionally, recklessly, and negligently created and maintained a culture of drug misuse, substituting players’ health for profit.” The suit cites the expansion of the regular season to sixteen games, a shorter offseason, and larger players as reasons why the dispensing of painkillers and other drugs has become promiscuous. The legal action contends, “The NFL’s use of trainers to distribute medications, lack of appropriate prescriptions, failure to keep records, refusal to explain side effects, and lack of individual patient care, individually and collectively, violate the [Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act].”
The suit claims that the NFL’s medical malfeasance resulted in subsequent player addiction. The section detailing the struggles of former Bills and Lions receiver J.D. Hill appears to lay the blame for his post-career troubles on the league: “He left the League addicted to painkillers, which he was forced to purchase on the streets to deal with his football-related pain, a path that led him to other street medications. He eventually became homeless and was in and out of 15 drug treatment centers for a period of over 20 years until overcoming his NFL-sponsored drug addiction.”
Breitbart Sports reached out to the NFL for comment, but has yet to receive a response at the time of posting.
While just eight former players have attached their name to the action filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the attorneys bringing the case hope to attract more plaintiffs. “Rather than allowing players the opportunity to rest and heal,” they charge, “the NFL has illegally and unethically substituted pain medications for proper health care to keep the NFL’s tsunami of dollars flowing.”
Daniel J. Flynn, the author of The War on Football: Saving America’s Game (Regnery, 2013), edits Breitbart Sports.