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Nfl Concussion Litigation

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Submitted By lucassmith22
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On January 31, 2012, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order consolidating several lawsuits against the National Football League into one large case of Multidistrict Litigation. All of the lawsuits that have been filed claim “tortious conduct” on the part of the NFL, resulting in neuro-degenerative disease and injury to professional football players. As of January 24, 2013, over 4,500 retired NFL players, more than one-third of players to ever sign an NFL contract, had brought a suit against the NFL concerning the head injuries that they sustained on the field during their playing careers. (Anderson, 1). Given the outstanding popularity of football in the United States, these lawsuits have garnered the attention of national media, prompting debate, discussion, and research about the dangers of football-related head injuries and the future of the NFL. (Fenno, 1). The litigation has the potential to reach the scale of the Big Tobacco litigation of the 1990’s, but the NFL has thrown a substantial roadblock in the players’ suit with a federal employment law preemption defense. (Fisher, 1). The consolidation of all the lawsuits into the Multidistrict Litigation has created the ability for both parties to decide the legal issues presented by the players’ claims and the NFL’s defenses. This paper will examine the merits of those claims and defenses, offer insight into how the players applied rhetorical devices to further their case, address the link established between the NFL and Big Tobacco, and how the court could likely rule regarding the concussion litigation, if it makes it to court.
To begin, the history of concussions in football has been an extensive one. As mentioned above, retired football players have been joining lawsuits at a tremendous pace. The game of football is changing, as exemplified by the number of rule changes that have been...

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