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July 30, 2016

S&P Cites Increase In Sports-Related Brain Injury Insurance Claims Following WWE Lawsuit

In the wake of the concussion-related class action lawsuit filed by more than 50 former WWE performers against professional wrestling's largest promotion, S&P Global Ratings, a market intelligence company, has declared that sports-related brain injuries are among the largest new areas for insurance claims.

Last year, thousands of former professional football players settled out of court with the NFL for alleged brain injuries, paving the way for many former professional wrestlers to make similar claims against WWE.

S&P identified injured rugby players and participants of other sports where helmets are worn as potential personal injury plaintiffs. As for parties that may be named as defendants, S&P mentioned athletic groups, sports teams, schools, retailers, and helmet makers.

Interestingly, S&P compared the concussion-related lawsuits of the day to the once prevalent asbestos exposure cases. While S&P does not project the brain injury claims to rise to the level of the asbestos cases, the two types of tort lawsuits are similar insofar as the both involve large numbers of potentially affected individuals and both types of personal injuries are known to worsen over time.

S&P noted that American insurance companies have learned from the asbestos cases to include exclusions clauses in contracts for concussion-related claims and cap lawsuit payouts.

source: cnbc

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