Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Former NFL Players File Lawsuit Against League For Illegally Administering Painkillers And Encouraging Injured Players To Continue Playing

A federal lawsuit has been filed by a number of former NFL players against the league accusing the teams of illegally prescribing controlled pain medications to injured players and misrepresenting the seriousness of player injuries to convince them to continue playing. The lawsuit filed by eight retired football players includes three members of the Super Bowl XX championship Chicago Bears, including quarterback Jim McMahon, defensive end Richard Dent (who played for the Colts in 1996) and offensive tackle Keith Van Horne. The eight plaintiffs have asked the federal district court in San Francisco where the suit was filed to certify their complaint for class action status.

In the 85-page complaint, McMahon claims that team trainers dispensed a high volume of pain killers to him and hundreds, if not thousands of shots from team doctors for pain management without being given any warning of possible side effects from use of the drugs. McMahon states that he believes team doctors okayed him to continue playing after he suffered a broken neck and later a broken ankle while playing. Van Horne claims he played an entire season on a broken leg without ever being told by the team's doctors of the extent of his injury. He was required to wear a special medical boot to reduce swelling in his leg and was "fed a constant diet of pills to deal with the pain."

Colts' owner Jim Irsay's recent arrest for possession of controlled substances and driving while intoxicated is used by the plaintiffs in their lawsuit as evidence of the NFL's "pervasively malign culture." The suit first mentions problems that arose with missing pain medications from the New Orleans Saints' drug locker. When the team's head of security, a former FBI agent, investigated and learned that pills were being removed from the drug locker by an assistant coach, the team's management conspired to cover up the coach's actions. Geoffrey Santini resigned his job rather than be complicit in the team's actions and later sued the team for constructive discharge, which led the DEA to open an investigation now being reviewed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisiana. The suit adds, "The Saints may not be the only team failing to properly account for its medications. On March 16, 2014, Colts’ owner Jim Irsay was arrested and found to possess several Schedule IV medications, including Xanax, Valium and Ambien, along with large amounts of cash." Isn't it ironic that one of the selling points of the Irsay-led efforts to win the 2018 Super Bowl bid for Indianapolis was a new initiative to promote player safety? Want to take any bets on whether U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett will open an investigation of how Irsay was acquiring his controlled substances?

Click here to view the complaint.


Anonymous said...

it 'pains' me to say this, but the statute of limitations elapsed a long time ago.

what about blaming the applicable drug manufacturers?

Gary R. Welsh said...

There is a section of the lawsuit that acknowledges the players' claims are time-barred. Here's their argument for getting around it:

44. Plaintiffs were not warned about the dangers of: (a) cocktailing; (b) ingesting
medication in numbers beyond a recommended dosage; (c) taking medications for periods of
time significantly longer than medically necessary; (d) the potential for addiction associated with
certain medications the League provided them; or (e) the potential for increased frequency and
severity of injuries as a result of taking medications, including but not limited to Toradol, that
masked pain.
45. The NFL fraudulently concealed these dangers from its players to keep them on
the field when they otherwise should not have been, placing profit before player health.
46. Plaintiffs had no good reason to know of these dangers until recently. Often they
were not even told the names of the medications they were being given. Further, the NFL kept
poor records, to the extent it kept records at all, regarding the medications it dispensed to its
47. Those failures on the part of the NFL constitute substantial factors in causing
Plaintiffs’ injuries and damages.
48. The applicable statutes of limitations are tolled because the NFL’s intentional,
reckless and negligent omissions prevented Plaintiffs from learning of the foregoing hazards to
their health.

Anonymous said...

If you find yourself convicted of a low-level felony and have a gun around the house, Hogsett will be there to serve justice right up your ash.

Divert millions of taxpayers bucks to your friends or hold rank in Indy's power elite, and Hogsett won't get off the couch.

As for the NFL, it's a fundamentally flawed sport that shouldn't exist. It's a shame someone dreamed it up, and Football should assume the same status as Dueling.

Here's Bjorn Borg at 57:


Here's Borg after he's been able to comb his hair:



Here's Earl Campbell:


Can we please stop glorifying Football?

Flogger said...

Smoking Joe Hogsett is just one piece of the interlocking defense shield for the 1%. This defense shield includes politicians both elected and appointed - Democrats and Republicans, the Crony-Capitalists, Non-Profits, and the Mega-Media.

Eric Turner is good example of how it works. The Leadership in the State House allows a "Show Trial" in Turner's case but finds no wrong doing. As you mentioned in an earlier Blog- our state's Economic Development Corporation is awarding $345,000 to a nursing home project that Turner's family is developing in Terre Haute from which he stands to personally make $1.8 million.

You would think the Democratic Leadership would go after Turner tooth, fang and nail. However, the Democrats have been silent. The Democratic Party is a part of the interlocking defense for the 1%.

The Shield can also be used for offensive purposes such as hyping the Stupor Bowl. A Blizkreig of fluff articles and phoney economic data on the value of Professional Sports is the Soup of Day.

Anonymous said...

"interlocking defense shield for the 1%"

Very well stated.

I recently read that what we call the elite is ultimately a series of interlocking interests.