Class actions against the NFL and helmet manufacturers transferred to Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Four class action lawsuits brought by former National Football League (NFL) players against the NFL and helmet manufacturers for alleged long-term effects from concussion-related football injuries have been centralized in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  On January 31, 2012, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the four lawsuits, three of which had been pending in the Central District of California, to Judge Anita B. Brody.  The former players have asserted negligence claims against the NFL and product liability claims against helmet manufacturing defendants Riddell Sports Group, Inc. and related corporate entities.  The Riddell defendants opposed consolidation, and alternatively argued for a delay of transfer until the Central District of California ruled on their pending motions to dismiss.  But the panel ruled against Riddell, holding that the lawsuits share common factual issues concerning allegations against the NFL stemming from injuries sustained while playing professional football.  The panel has been notified of 16 additional potentially related actions. 

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