PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the NFL and former players to negotiate over whether claims of concussion-related injuries will move forward in court or in arbitration.
U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody had planned to rule July 22 in a legal fight involving about 4,200 former players and the league.
However, in an order Monday, she instructs the two sides to try to resolve how the case will proceed by going through mediation with retired U.S. District Judge Layn Phillips of Oklahoma. The retirees want to be able to sue the league. The NFL’s position is the claims fall under the collective bargaining agreement, and should be resolved in arbitration.
Phillips is to report back to Brody on any progress by Sept. 3. Brody also implemented a gag order on lawyers for both sides.
Many former players say they suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions and believe they stem from on-field concussions. The league says safety has always been a top priority.