American football helmet maker Riddell attempts to dismiss class action concussion suit

Published 07 August 2014 By: Joseph M. Hanna

Riddell Logo American Football and helmet
On Friday, August 1, Riddell and other football helmet producers filed a motion to dismiss1 in the District of New Jersey, in an attempt to end a consumer concussion class-action suit waged against them.  This suit is just one of many attacking Riddell’s marketing of its “Revolution” line of football helmets.
Riddell filed its motion, seeking to dismiss the complaint2 as it fails to state a claim and lacks the statutorily required specificity for this type of action.  They argue that the complaint is missing any specified statement upon which the plaintiffs may have relied, which is integral to support a claim of deceptive advertising. 


Further, the motion to dismiss criticizes the filed complaint for not addressing how the allegedly deceptive advertising influenced the plaintiffs’ purchases, even though the price paid is the specific injury allegedly suffered.
This particular lawsuit relies on a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study conducted to test Riddell’s helmets and their ability to prevent concussions.  The complaint alleges that Riddell used results from the study to market their helmets as better for preventing concussions. 
Subsequently, a number of issues surrounding the study surfaced, including a significant conflict of interests.  The plaintiffs further allege that Riddell knew before their marketing that the study was substantially compromised, but they relied on it to increase their prices anyway.  Plaintiffs seek compensation for the excess amount paid based on the false safety claims.

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Joseph M. Hanna

Joseph M. Hanna

Joseph Hanna is a partner of Goldberg Segalla and concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with a focus on sports and entertainment law and retail, hospitality, and development litigation. Joe represents sports franchises, professional athletes, and movie studios with various issues related to licensing, contracts, and day-to-day management. He serves as Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment Law Practice Group and editor of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog. In addition, Joe is the Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Diversity Task Force. He possesses an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
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