Judge Throws Out Most Claims from NFL Players’ Painkiller Lawsuit

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Judge William Haskell Alsup, of the Northern California district court, has thrown out all but a handful of the claims made in a lawsuit brought against all 32 NFL teams by 1,800 former players. The players, who can appeal the decision, said they suffered organ and joint damage as a result of the painkillers the teams administered — irresponsibly and, in some cases, illegally.

This is the second time Alsup has dismissed the case. In 2014, he denied 1,300 of those players, but after a similar filing in Maryland, he was forced to deal with both camps in an amended lawsuit. He wrote, per Deadspin, that he found the evidence “insufficient to plead causation,” then tried on some barstool math: “Statistically, in any population as large as NFL retirees, some incidence of tumors and other organ-related ailments is to be expected.”

Which certainly is one way to look at it. The other is that players were given inhuman doses of Toradol and pills by the fistful, part of the league’s common practice that was tacitly condoned at the highest levels.