Posted Jul 10, 2013 06:19 pm CDT
A federal judge has ordered the National Football League and players into mediation to try to resolve litigation over head injuries.
U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia appointed a retired judge, Layn Phillips, to mediate the case, which involves a claim from more than 4,000 football players who allege head injuries caused by professional football, the Wall Street Journal reports. The judge also issued a gag order, restricting comments from either side during the mediation process, Bloomberg reports.
The NFL has tried to get the suit dismissed, arguing that the issues should be part of the collective bargaining agreement.
The Wall Street Journal notes that both sides are represented by “high-powered” lawyers – “Paul Clement arguing for the deep-pocketed NFL and David Frederick representing the players” – and that litigation could drag on for years.
Players, who maintain the NFL failed to inform them of the link between repeated traumatic head impacts and long-term brain injury, are seeking damages for diagnosed brain injuries and to create a system to monitor brain health of currently asymptomatic retirees.