STSW Again Argues NFL Appeal at the Ninth Circuit

On March 12, 2020, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument in the case of Dent, et. al. v. the NFL. That same panel had previously issued a ruling in the matter overturning the trial court's order dismissing the case on preemption grounds. 902 F.3d 1109 (9th Cir. 2018). Plaintiffs thereafter filed a third amended complaint that contained a single negligence count against the League. The trial court against dismissed the complaint, finding that plaintiffs had failed to plead a duty on the part of the NFL.

At oral argument on that issue at the Ninth Circuit, the panel focused on whether the League had voluntarily assumed a duty with regard to the provision of painkillers and controlled substances, to what extent such a voluntary assumption might be preempted, and whether plaintiffs could proceed on a theory of negligence per se. A decision is expected soon.

STSW attorney Bill Sinclair argued the case at the Ninth Circuit.