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Discussion in 'Blinded by the Lombardis: Patriots Forum' started by sodenj5, Apr 19, 2017.
So instead let's root for the guy that had a hand in murdering three people!
How is rooting for AH's daughter rooting for him? He's dead and has nothing personal to gain from this.
He's a plaintiff's lawyers. He is representing the party bringing the complaint. The defense lawyers, presumably from Wilmer Hale, will be representing the NFL.
Fwiw, he played 52 games in NFL (38 regular season, 8 preseason, 6 postseason) and 40 total games at Florida
I don't think Hernandez has a case.
He also never played a snap in the NFL until AFTER the NFL (Greg Aiello) acknowledged concussions can cause long term problems, and after the NFL implemented new return to play guidelines. (Dec 2009)
And before he ever took a snap in the league the NFL put posters in every locker room stating that
"Concussions and conditions resulting from repeated brain injury can change your life and your family's life forever"
So I don't see how you can make the argument that he played in a league that said it was safe
Yeah, totally, I mean that surgeon's general warning on the back of cigarette packs was good enough to protect the tobacco companies, right?
This post is the equivalent of your weekend warrior opining on Dustin Pedroia's thumb injury because he broke a pinkie playing little league 40 years ago.
Doesn't matter if he has a case I suspect the NFL will settle for something. After all, it's tip money for them and they really don't want this guy running around deposing people etc.
That's what I'm thinking, if the NFL cn't get the suit dismissed that they reach a settlement with a "Keep Your Fucking Mouth Shut Upon Pain of Spending Three Weeks Locked in a Room Listening to the Collected Speeches of Roger Goodell" clause to prevent any discovery from happening.
Because this case reads to me more like a shakedown than anything else. There are no people to cheer for in this case IMO.
You can't cheer for the daughter? I mean whether or not Hernandez was messed up in the head, the CTE likely exacerbated whatever problems might have been.
edit: it would have been a fascinating defense trial had they been able to learn of the CTE before he died - not responsible because of CTE. Think of the circus that would have been.
If the daughter was the one bringing the case, then sure. Something tells me she isn't. She's a beneficiary. Great. But I don't like the bones of the lawsuit.
This is a tough one.
If the plaintiff in this case was anyone other than the fiancé (a/k/a "accessory after the fact") of a psychopathic murderer, I'd be rooting hard for them to take it to the NFL. The fact that Jose Baez - who made his bones by suggesting that Casey Anthony's father was a pedophile/murderer in order to get his client off - is the plaintiff's lawyer is another factor.
Maybe the only just outcome is for the Pats/NFL to fork over a large sum of money and for Odin Lloyd's family to then sue Jenkins for wrongful death.
Regardless, I still don't think the suit survives a motion to dismiss.
What about for the players in the game now? I can only imagine that they're somewhat surprised & alarmed that the doctors' assessment was Hernandez's level was so serious. Isn't this going to have an impact on them and their families, separate from the Hernandez family case? Anyone think we might see some players reconsider their commitment to the game?
Thank you for the info.
When Roger Goodell heard about this he fined Kraft $1,000,000 and docked the Pats their 1st and 2nd round picks in 2018. So sad.
I think it would only have been a media circus. The NG by reason of insanity defense in MA is (I believe) governed by the MPC language: "if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law." AH would have failed either prong, due to his actions before and after the shooting (with no intervening change in circumstances like a massive head injury just seconds prior to the shooting.) His PCP use would fall under self-intoxication, which is not a defense and muddies the water further for him. (I.e., if he wasn't constantly high on angel dust, and didn't cause any damage to his brain/moral faculties through self-intoxication, might he not have resisted his wish to kill Lloyd, despite the CTE?)
I'm with you - the whole thing feels overreaching and messy - the NFL probably just settles if it gets to it, but it feels really light to me on actual evidence.
It's really hard to make an argument that the NFL caused Aaron Hernandez's CTE, and his violence, when he had a long history of violence pre-NFL, and pretty much every story about him in college is that he was edgy, erratic, mercurial, and prone to violent outbursts. He told Ian Rappaport he'd kill him if he badmouthed him as a rookie. Most of the symptoms listed as common in CTE victims are traits he was displaying in college. I guess the argument could be made that the NFL should have never let him play if he was already damaged goods, but that's a bit of a tougher argument to make, as there aren't any live tests.
I'm sure the NFL made it worse (as he did have a concussion while playing for the Pats)
The civil case argument with best chance to succeed would be that the CTE caused AH to kill himself (since depression and suicide is linked to some CTE sufferers), and that the NFL knew about the risks and did nothing substantial to prevent the CTE. But it's not a very good argument for a number of reasons, as you noted here. It's much more of an uphill climb to argue that the CTE also caused AH to become violent in the particular way that he did, and that the NFL should be legally liable for AH's conduct in killing others - with the result that the NFL should reimburse Hernandez's daughter. (There are plenty of former NFL players who don't go on killing sprees.)
The best defense against the "CTE caused AH to kill himself" theory of liability is that "AH might just have felt bad because he was a multiple murderer sentenced to life in prison." Which is tough to push back with any sort of moral authority. E.g., "No, he killed because he was a psychopath, but killed himself because of the CTE." Good luck asking a jury to assign a percentage of fault to the NFL in that situation.
Maybe having her father turned into a psychotic mass murderer as a (at least partial) result of the head trauma he received in his chosen profession perhaps wasn't the best break for her either. Something tells me Hernandez probably wasn't aware of (nevermind weighing) the probabilities of such an outcome when he was looking to play in Florida or Foxborough.
I agree they will likely settle but this is the top of the iceberg for these suits. Colleges and high schools should be worried too.
The problem the NFL has isn't that it's going to be banned, NFL and NCAA football are going to go on. The problem is one of supply that boxing and MMA don't face. Boxing and martial arts are universal phenomenon, so all that the declining rates of participation here has meant is that the names of pro boxers are more difficult for some Americans to pronounce.
American football isn't a universal sport, so the declining participatory rates at the youth level in the US are a real problem. We can grant that this won't hit the deep south for a while, but the overall trend is that the pool of available players is in a long term decline, which is eventually going to be compounded when the government gets involved due to child safety issues.
Aaron Hernandez was involved in several prison fights according to the local media. How does his lawyer go about proving that the CTE he had came from the NFL, and not from his cellmate smashing his head into cement?
I wonder if the strategy is to get a settlement from the NFL first and then go after the NCAA and FL. Can't sue them both at the same time because they would just point fingers at each other.
Because this isn't true.
That's what I read from somebody. Even so, the two numbers are comparable.
I don't think the difference is any sort of "universality" of a sport, whatever that might mean. The difference is that in order to have a competitive sport of american football, you need 53 rostered players (plus spares / practice squads / street free agents) per team, and entire league's worth of teams.
For boxing, you have 1 participant on each side. 2 make a bout. A dozen make up a plausible pool of contenders. The number of boxing gyms could shrink by 90% and you'd still have a viable sport that you could put on TV. Not so gridiron football, not by a long shot - the product will be dramatically affected if the pyramid of high schools feeding colleges feeding the NFLs narrows more than a bit.
Didn't know about this, went to Google and...holy SHIT. This guy was batshit crazy.
The chilling part is Rapoport laughing it off in the locker room, not knowing that Hernandez meant every word he said.
This is not about Hernandez nor his daughter, but whether the NFL is liable for CTE, i.e. can it be proven that they downplayed the issues.
If not in this case because they may settle, one day there will be a Robin Hood and the NFL will face the same fate as tobacco. There cannot be any other conclusion that football causes CTE, and it will force the NFL to redifene themselves or becoming extinct.
When the Denver receiver last weekend wobbled and fell down I was sick to the stomach and turned off the TV, 5 years ago he would be laughed at...
The social acceptance of NFL like smoking is erroding, already happening and irreversible. This lawsuit is just another stream in this process.
I think you're saying the same thing:
For boxing, you can get people from anywhere. North/Central/South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, lawyers, Sherlock Holmes, whatever. It's "universal" or rather: "global".
So you have "the entire population of the planet" as a source pool, from which you don't need that many.
For football, you have North America, and then some places that play Rugby or Aussie Rules, and that's about it.
So you have a much narrower selection set, from which you need hundreds of athletes.
I don't know, man. If (and this is a big if) more than X% of active NCAA players have positive tests, that's a game-changer, regardless of how much people love the game. I'm not saying it'll be overnight, but it'll be damn sight quicker than 30 years, IMO.
We've been focusing on supply (of players), but demand (fanbase) will take a hit as well if the aforementioned scenario came to pass (edit: acf69's post dovetails nicely here).
We'll have to disagree. It's been what, 50 years since we figured out smoking causes lung cancer? Down here, in Virginia, people LOVE the tobacco companies. People are willing to ignore a whole damn lot for a paycheck, or a way of life.
I would love for you to expand on your thinking.
Here's my take:
-- I'm not a worker's comp expert, but I know claims by dependents of an injured worker for damages attributable to a workplace injury are typically barred. Massachusetts has an exception for willful misconduct, however, so even if the bar applies here (and I have no idea if it would, especially against the NFL as opposed to the Patriots), Baez can probably survive a motion to dismiss by alleging willful misconduct.
-- I think Baez is likely to stipulate that AH murdered Odin Lloyd, then fight to keep the particulars out of court. (Otherwise, the bulk of the trial will be spent rehashing the details of that case.) AH's child's claim for loss of consortium would therefore only be for the loss of her ability to visit her father in prison and get to know him in that limited way as she grows up. That would limit her recovery if she prevails, but unless there's a specific law that I don't know about that bars such recoveries, I would think it's still a legally cognizable injury.
-- I think a jury would ultimately conclude that AH was a narcissist who killed himself because his courtroom drama had played out (save for a perfunctory appeal that had no chance of success) and was facing life as an anonymous prisoner. And even if they're more sympathetic than that, I think they're likely to conclude that AH wouldn't have done anything differently had he known everything the NFL did about the risks of the sport. But those are things that would be settled at trial. Baez seems to have enough to allege that the NFL and the Patriots willfully withheld information from players about the safety of the game, and that seems like enough to get to discovery, unless there's a statute I don't know about that specifically bars this claim.
Howard Bryant had a good take on Bob Ryan's podcast, that eventually football will end up much like enlisted military, that most of those in it will be from a smaller slice of society who may not have many other choices. Who aren't good enough at other sports. We already see a smattering of college basketball players trying to become NFL tight ends or receivers, and failed minor leaguers who go to college football. I'd add that a disproportionate number of legacies whose parents/relatives played football will still play too.
Participation in boxing has fallen in America over the last two generations, but they box in Cuba, they box in Mexico, they box in Brazil, they box Botswana, they box in the Philippines. They box everywhere. So despite the 17 major belts and the 348 weight classes there are thousands and thousands of boxers around to keep the business running.
Do you know where they play American football? Here in North America. In ever declining numbers. Youth football participation is off by around 15% from its peak last decade, and even more than that when you factor out flag football leagues. In one time football hotbeds like Michigan, there are high schools canceling programs because they can't get enough students to try out to field a team.
Granted, in places like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida they're going to have kids playing full contact football until federal safety regulators take the decision out of parents' hands (and make no mistake, that day's a lot closer than people want to admit), but the long term trend is there. Kids are, increasingly, not playing full contact until high school, and that's likely going to be the future compromise on the issue.
I played Pop Warner for a few years, and then all through high school. I don't think the quality of play would decrease by kids not playing until high school. Certainly not on the College or Pro levels, and probably not even on the HS level. Most high schools don't coach most positions well. Junior high and pop warner quality coaching is mostly building bad habits and understanding of the game. The best players in HS were the best athletes, not the ones who had the most time playing the game before HS. For some skill stuff (punt, pass, kick) you can get some basic learning done in a flag football environment before HS, but even that is basically going to be re-taught by the HS level coaches. There is no reason to have 12 year olds slam their heads together on a football field.
Mine is not a terribly informed opinion, as I will admit that I have not read the suit. (And have no plans to, since all things Aaron Hernandez are not matters of pressing importance to me.)
Having said that, it strikes me that you need to make an offer of proof for the suit to proceed. And while they can easily show the linkage between football and CTE, they cannot show a linkage between Hernandez' time in the NFL and CTE.
I do agree that it's a matter of time before the NFL has their day of legal reckoning on this issue. But I cannot see this case as the one to take them down.
Virginia produces less than 50,000 pounds/year of tobacco these days (some sources say less than 25,000), down from a high of almost 250,000 pounds/year. Tobacco was a $300+ million/year industry for Virginia in the 1970s; it's down to about $50 million/year now and crashing quickly.
In 1999 people here were laughing at California barring smoking in bars, saying it would never happen in VA. They passed a similar ban in 2009.
In the US, 1/3 as many people smoke today as in 1955. And since about a decade ago, high school students are smoking at an even lower rate than adults (which generally presages significant future declines).
I agree that this case has enormous causation problems that are likely to result in dismissal on a motion to dismiss or summary judgment.
The NFL cannot be on the hook for any CTE damage sustained before AH donned a uniform for the NEP. It will be practically impossible to parse pre-NFL from NFL damage. Plaintiff will carry the burden of doing that and, further, getting an expert prepared to raise his or her right hand, under oath, and testify that the NFL damage led to the suicide.
I don't see that happening. Additionally, federal courts by and large are not whorehouses. They are manned and womaned by serious judges who take precedent seriously and refuse to let cases get to the jury just because it feels good or is the "right" thing to do.
And there is NFW the NFL or the NEP settle this. The chances of that are as close to zero as you can get. I'm talking from experience.
Sure, but the argument necessary here is: "Aaron Hernandez didn't get CTE from playing our NFL game, he got it from playing in college, high-school, and grade school."
And no matter what the actual damages in this suit are, that argument is way more damaging.
The argument is, "you can't parse it out, and that's your obligation as plaintiff so you lose."
Then there is another obstacle in proving that the suicide more likely than not was caused by the CTE, which you must demonstrate is more likely than not.
The second one sure, but I don't think the NFL ever wants to get anywhere close to the first argument.
The NFL doesn't have a choice in the matter, because the case has already been filed. And the argument could be easily managed to avoid the kind of PR debacle you are suggesting.
The fact of the matter is that Baez has the burden of proving that the damage he is alleging was caused by Hernandez' time in the NFL. Beyond that, he'd have to argue that CTE caused the suicide.
He won't meet either burden. And like dc, I don't believe the NFL or the Pats will settle under any circumstances.
Clearly the NFL is not interested in this lawsuit getting ANY light. If nothing else, Baez should be able to put into the public eye (not that some of this hasn't already gotten there) how horrible CTE is, how football contributes to it, how the NFL has been complicit in hiding CTE from the public and players, how they've manipulated studies and data. They may even be able to bring to light certain information that the public hasn't seen before.
The NFL wants this to go away as fast as possible, but I agree - settling this doesn't seem to be the way to go. The NFL absolutely would win this case because dcmissle is right - there's no way to parse out which part of this is on the NFL and which part is from college or high school or even before. It's an absolute loser of a lawsuit and Baez knows it. But he also knows that the NFL is REALLY uncomfortable with this issue right now and has humongously deep pockets, so they're the "right" people to go after.
It's going to be incredibly interesting to follow.
The biggest problem the NFL and NEP have is bringing this to a conclusion before plaintiff has a chance to discover what defs knew and when they knew it.
So look for a motion to dismiss, which may be difficult. If unsuccessful, look for NFL to attempt to limit discovery in initial stages to causation to tee up a motion for summary judgment. They'll argue the case is DOA on that ground, and the court and parties should not be put to the burden and expense of other discovery.
Trial judge will have a ton of discretion on whether to structure the case that way.
Of course smoking rates have fallen significantly - nobody denies that. But it has been 50 years, and 20ish percent of americans still smoke despite knowing it will probably kill you. The idea that football is going to disappear in 10 years because of head injuries is laughably naive. Its a huge part of life in the south and midwest. They'll cling to it as long as they can, even if its killing their kids.
The tobacco industry is much smaller than it was, and Virginia grows much less, but they're still naming buildings after tobacco executives and companies down here, and the tobacco companies are seen in an extremely positive light, and it will be that way for a long time.
Yes, you'll see a huge falloff in the more liberal states - but those states (besides CA) don't produce many NFL players - more than 50% of the NFL comes from Texas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and CA, and while CA will probably see some drop, Texas will probably take the fact that football destroys your brain as a point of pride that it makes it an even better way to prove your manhood. Companies can waive workman's comp requirements in Texas for shit sake - the idea that they're just gonna shut down football because people get hurt?
The class action is an issue. Hernandez was part of the class action that settled. He didn't opt out. His claims are barred. If so, case over.
This lawsuit is not going to move the needle much regarding CTE and the NFL. There was a major motion picture starring one of the biggest movie stars on the planet about this topic, and it barely moved the needle. The NFL settled a class action beause they knew about this and did nothing to protect decades worth of NFL players and it barely moved the needle. A lawsuit where the player in question is the least sympathetic case you can ever imagine, who was a known psychotic violent asshole before he ever put an NFL uniform on, will not move the needle. I do agree that over time participation rates will continue to fall, and the league will lose fans who don't want to see players literally killing themselves in the name of the "Shield", but it'll be a slow drip and this lawsuit won't accelerate it all that much.
What is going to come out that isn't already out? That the owners knew that concussions were an issue and didn't do anything about it? Everyone already knows that.
It's not a workers' compensation case.
Of course not. Did you read what I wrote?
Worker's compensation laws bar most lawsuits by employees and their dependents to recover damages from their employer for workplace injuries. If those rules apply here (and I have no idea if they do), Baez has to find a workaround -- which I'm pretty sure he can do, but it could have significant implications for how the case moves forward.
This. If you can show people brain damage development from game to game, which parents would allow that for their kids? What rich player is not going to think twice about their future?