OHS Canada Magazine

Class-action lawsuit against CFL on behalf of players who suffered concussions withdrawn

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November 2, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety CFL Concussions Football sports

McMahon Stadium, home of the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Photo: Adobe Stock

A class-action lawsuit filed against the Canadian Football League, its teams and former commissioner on behalf of players who suffered concussion-related injuries has been withdrawn.

Former CFL player Arland Bruce also filed a similar concussion-related lawsuit as an individual (not as a class action). After a hearing and appeals all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, Bruce’s legal claims were directed to proceed by way of labour arbitration rather than through the courts.

The class action lawsuit has now been discontinued against all of the defendants. This is because it is likely that claims relating to former players’ concussions are required to be resolved through labour arbitration rather than in the courts, according to a press release issued by Foreman & Company, class-action lawyers.

Arbitration is a private contractual dispute resolution process that occurs before a decision maker known as an arbitrator. In this case, the arbitration process is driven by the collective bargaining agreements  (CBAs) established between the CFL Player’s Association (CFLPA) and the CFL defendants over time.

The CFL defendants (the league, its teams and former commissioner Mark Cohon) have agreed to a labour arbitration process whereby former players alleging a concussion related injury as of Oct. 31, 2023 can seek to file a claim (also known as a grievance).



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