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NFL Sues 30 Carriers for Failing to Pay for Defense in Head Injury Lawsuits

More than 30 insurance companies are named in a lawsuit filed by the National Football League (NFL) for refusing to pay for the defense of lawsuits against the league regarding head injuries suffered by former players
August 23, 2012

More than 30 insurance companies are named in a lawsuit filed by the National Football League (NFL) for refusing to pay for the defense of lawsuits against the league regarding head injuries suffered by former players. The NFL is named as a defendant in at least 143 lawsuits by former players and their spouses, but insurers have refused to defend the NFL in the injury lawsuits. The former players are accusing the league of negligence by failing to inform players of the link between repeated traumatic head impacts and long-term brain injuries, including early onset of Alzheimer’s, dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The NFL has accused the insurers of breach of contract, as the league has incurred $5 million in attorneys’ fees and other costs related to its defense against these lawsuits.

“The duty-to-defend policies contractually impose on each issuing insurer a duty to defend any suit against the NFL and/or NFL Properties on account of bodily or personal injury covered or potentially covered by the policy, even if the allegations of the suit are groundless, false or fraudulent,” the NFL said in the complaint.

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