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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by betterthanthealternative, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    Is it out of the question for an NFL player to file a lawsuit against a wide range of coaches, teams, and administrators for the injury bounties? Do NFL players really give up every form of civil protection on workplace safety and the right not to be assaulted? When it goes from just playing the game to purposely trying to remove someone's livelihood, is there a line that's crossed that opens up legal options?

    Just curious.
  2. Mossed

    Mossed Rookie

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    It is a physical game, but purposely setting out to injure another person is crossing the line.

    I'm pretty sure legal action could be taken. For example, it's kind of different but around where I'm from there was an incident during a soccer game where a player kicked the goalie after the play. Assault charges were pressed and the judge ended up ruling it was assault.

    "There could be lawsuits to follow by players injured in games against the Saints during the 2009-11 seasons. Lawyers have been texting me."
    https://twitter.com/#!/PatKirwanCBS
  3. TyronePoole

    TyronePoole Banned

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    was a player actually injured from an illegal hit resulting from a bounty?

    if so, then yes, that would fall outside the assumption of risk since the league has expressly made bounties illegal
  4. tatepatsfan

    tatepatsfan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    It depends on state law regarding assumption of risk.
  5. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If both Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton knew these bounties were going on and did nothing to stop it, the Saints are liable. In fact, they are likely liable because their employees did this while on the job.

    The players are injured do not give up their civil protections just because it is violent game. Players have the expectation that other players are not purposefully trying to injure them for pay. If they were injured because of a player trying to hurt them to collect a bounty and they can prove it, they will win a lot of money from the Saints and the NFL.

    What I am waiting for is whether criminal charges will be brought. What the Saints' players did was legally assault. I know there have been cases in Canada for the NHL for this type of stuff, but there was never a proven case of an organized team effort to commit assault. That might get a zealous prosecutor to think about bringing charges.
  6. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This could be federal jurisdiction. If the bounty was offered in New Orleans and the injury occurred in a game in another state, it would have Federal jurisdiction because the act crossed state lines between two parties in different states and the claim will exceed the minimum of $75k.
  7. dizi24

    dizi24 Rookie

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    Doesn't change the fact that state law would still apply.

    Generally the way state courts have dealt with liability in sports is looking at whether the act was outside the customs of the game. Thus, even though a helmet to helmet hit might be illegal, it's probably within the customs of the game and there would be no liability. Also in baseball, intentionally throwing at a batter wouldn't create liability. You can set out to hurt someone and still be protected in a tort case (like fighting in hockey).

    Honestly, it would be a gray area for sure. Even if there were bounties, if none of the hits are illegal or outside the custom of the sport, it's harder to say there could be liability. I'm not sure anyone has actually accused the Saints players of making illegal hits that were well outside the bounds of normal football play.
  8. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Interesting side note, Dungy has indicated that it was a vicious hit in a Redskins game in 2006 that was the root of all Manning's neck problems. Williams was the Redskins DC at that time.
  9. TyronePoole

    TyronePoole Banned

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    Anyone who wants to know the answer to this should read Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, pretty much sets the stage for liability if a hit falls beyond the assumption fo risk, as it would in a case like this imo. Yes it could be removed to federal court based on diversity and yes Eerie choice of law probably means that the state law where the hit took place is controlling, but remember that the above-mentioned case is pretty persuasive authority wherever.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  10. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    So would it be feasible for a Colts long time season ticket holder to sue the Saints on behalf of all Colts season ticket holders, on the grounds that:

    • intentional acts and a lack of institutional control caused the Saints players to perform in a manner that increased the likelihood of opposing players being injured
    • the most valuable player on a team (Manning) in which I have an economic stake (season tickets) was injured while playing the Saints
    • the quality of entertainment I and all other season ticket holders received was reduced by Manning's injury
    • Further, Manning's injury has caused the team to have to use resources (this year's #1 pick) as a substitute (Luck) for an asset the team should already have in place (Manning)
    • therefore the Saints have caused past and future harm to all Colts season ticket holders and should pay the price, to include punitive damages due to the intentional nature of the acts

    I know this is a stretch, but that's hardly stopped this kind of thing from going forward before.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  11. Jackson 2

    Jackson 2 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Anyone can file suit over anything s/he chooses to. The answer to the age-old question, "Can s/he sue?" is always "yes." The question always lies in the likelihood of winning.
  12. dizi24

    dizi24 Rookie

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    Actually, they might be barred from suing here. Without knowing the laws of the state this would be brought in, fans might not even have standing to sue. Also, if there's some sort of contractual issue here (ie if it's related to the CBA), then they would definitely not be able to sue as a third party.
  13. goheels22002

    goheels22002 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Depends on who brings the law suit, and whether this is a civil case - suing for damages - or a criminal prosecution.

    The best case, in my estimation, is a criminal case brought by a group of ambitious AG's or the Justice Department under the federal RICO statute alleging a conspiracy within the Saints and Redskins that could be proven to be formed to intentionally harm individuals and their teams. The conspirators could go to jail and the league made to pay fines.

    Would the prosecution succeed? Who knows? The Feds and AG's win big if they have a case. Just ask organized crime, predatory lenders, Big Tobacco, and BP.

    Sean Payton and Mike Shanahan would look good in matching orange jumpsuits. Commissioner Goodell has to deal with this severely.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  14. TyronePoole

    TyronePoole Banned

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    why'd you even bother to type this out :confused2:
  15. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    Actually the better question is would the suit survive a motion to dismiss for lack of COA or standing.

    For the same reasons that the Jets fans class action suit against the NEP over spygate was dismissed, I would expect any fan based suits to be dismissed.

    However, injured players (as in physically injured not players who lost a game) would likely have a cause of action against the Saints and the people who participated in this.
  16. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    I don't think such a thing is out of the question one bit, especially since the league itself is already being sued by players from the old days who are now have poor health. Personally, I think Brett Favre would have one hell of a lawsuit against either the Saints or the League (or both) given what we've learned over the past few days if he chose to pursue it.
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