A federal judge in Philadelphia will decide next month whether thousands of concussion-related lawsuits brought by former players against the NFL should proceed in open court or in private labor arbitration.
A single-sentence docket entry filed Monday for the cases said U.S. District Judge Anita Brody expected to rule July 22. After a high-profile April hearing, the ruling is likely to give one side the upper hand in what could be a multibillion-dollar dispute.
The league has asked Brody to dismiss the lawsuits, arguing that the former players' complaints amount to contract grievances that should be resolved by an arbitrator. Settled labor law says contracts preempt civil litigation.