The full text of this Note may be found here.
31 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 223 (2020).
Note by Dylan McGowan*
n 2014 and 2015, two groups of former National Football League (“NFL”) players brought lawsuits against the NFL for its handling and distribution of opioids and other dangerous painkillers. While neither lawsuit has succeeded in its goal of address-ing the painkiller problem, they brought to light the broken pain management culture of the NFL and the health risks these medications pose to both active and former players. Addressing the opioid problem should be a top priority for the NFL and the National Football League Players’ Association (“NFLPA”). This Note examines the pain management crisis in the NFL, and analyzes the two player lawsuits, illustrating the difficulty players face in obtaining relief in the courts. Additionally, this Note discusses the joint NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) and demonstrates the NFLPA’s need to negotiate for changes in that agreement to secure relief for former players and protect active players from any further harm.
* J.D. Candidate, Fordham University School of Law, 2021; B.A. Government & Politics, University of Maryland, 2015. I would like to thank Professor Wendy Luftig for her guidance. I would also like to thank the IPLJ Editorial staff for their hard work and feedback, particularly Senior Research & Writing Editor Sara Mazurek. Finally, thank you to my friends and family for their support and advice, especially my girlfriend, Chandler Sella, for her continuous encouragement throughout the writing process.