Appeal court reinstates painkiller lawsuit

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The NFL’s perpetual 99 problems once again include a painkiller lawsuit.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Daily reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reinstated a lawsuit against the NFL from 11 former players who claim that the league illegally disseminated prescription drugs during their careers.

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The case previously had been dismissed in a ruling that required the former players to pursue their claims under the arbitration provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The appeals court has allowed the case to proceed, but it has not addressed any of the merits of the claims.

Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent leads the lawsuit.

The appeals court suggested that Dent and the other plaintiffs could encounter difficulty when trying to attribute the behavior of team employees to the NFL. Much of that will depend on whether and to what extent league policies and procedures were being employed by the various teams.

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