Jenner & Block

Partner Michael Nelson Discusses Implications of Pro-Athlete Personal Injury Lawsuits

Jenner & Block Partner Michael J. Nelson is quoted in a Law360 article that highlights the cases of former NFL running back Reggie Bush, who was awarded $12.5 million for a knee injury, and former NFL linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who is pursuing a lawsuit that involves an injury sustained during play.  Mr. Nelson and other sports lawyers observe that Mr. Bush’s success could spur other athlete personal injury suits with claims that test the bounds of what is and is not covered by collective bargaining agreements.  Mr. Nelson observes that such lawsuits may become one more “avenue for players to become plaintiffs,” adding that “it is not just going to be limited to football.”  And he notes that the results in Bush's and Ryans’ suits could cause the NFL owners try to expand the scope of collective bargaining agreements to further prevent these sorts of lawsuits. “I am not sure they will be successful,” he says. “But given now that you have had two lawsuits, I suspect they will want to nip it in the bud.”