The National Football League asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by former players who claim doctors gave them painkillers and other drugs designed to keep them on the field, risking their long-term health, reports the Associated Press.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco in May, says the NFL obtained and administered the drugs illegally without prescriptions and failed to warn players about potential side effects, all in order to expedite the return of injured players to the field and generate the highest possible profits.
But the NFL’s lawyer says the league is not responsible for the medical decisions of its 32 teams and that the issue should be addressed by the NFL Players Association.
"There is a union and the union should be looking out for the players," U.S. District Judge William Alsup said.
The judge ordered the lawyers to contact the NFLPA to understand its position in the suit. Alsup said he will wait to hear from the NFLPA before deciding what to do in the case.
The original lawsuit named eight ex-players, including three members of the Super Bowl champion 1985 Chicago Bears: Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent, offensive lineman Keith Van Horne and quarterback Jim McMahon. Six of the eight players involved in this litigation also were plaintiffs in a previous concussion-related lawsuit that was tentatively settled this summer, in which both sides agreed to remove a $765 million cap on damages.
In the painkiller lawsuit, the ex-players say that the league’s doctors and trainers provided drugs, such as Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin, Toradol, and other controlled substances on game days to mask the pain. They also say the drugs were distributed without prescriptions.
- Scooby Axson