On Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco dismissed several claims in a lawsuit filed by retired players against the National Football League. Individual players in the suit may still pursue some of the remaining specific claims in the suit, but the majority of the case has been thrown out.
The plaintiffs in the suit alleged that NFL personnel gave prescription painkillers "without proper prescriptions, in illegal doses, without medical supervision and with little or no explanation of risks and dangers."
U.S. District Judge William Alsup blasted several parts of the lawsuit, noting that it used language was that "extensive, disorganized, frequently boilerplate," and included "contradictory statements," per the New York Daily News.
In his order, Judge Alsup also wrote that the complaint was "replete with extensive and incendiary allegations of conspiracy and general illegality (e.g., that the NFL's handling and distribution of medication violated the Controlled Substances Act and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act)," per Pro Football Talk. He additionally noted that many of the issues alleged in the suit were covered by the league's collective bargaining agreement.
"In such a rough-and-tumble sport as professional football, player injuries loom as a serious and inevitable evil. Proper care of these injuries is likewise a paramount need," Alsup wrote. "The main point of order is that the league has addressed these serious concerns in a serious way -- by imposing duties on the clubs via collective bargaining and placing a long line of health-and-safety duties on the team owners themselves. These benefits may not have been perfect, but they have been uniform across all clubs and not left to the vagaries of state common law. They are backed up by the enforcement power of the union itself and the players' right to enforce these benefits."
As such, the judge noted that the players, while they may have shown that the NFL and its teams acted improperly in their administering of prescription painkillers, did not show that they have a legal claim under the law. There is still another, similar suit pending in the same San Francisco courthouse, which is awaiting a ruling on a motion to dismiss the case.