NBO Law NFL Prescription Drug Lawsuit

Class Action Law Suit Filed Against NFL Alleges Prescription Drug Abuse

The law firm of Namanny, Byrne, and Owens, in conjunction with Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin, and White, has filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL. The lawsuit alleges the NFL supported an environment in which prescription drugs and controlled substances were illegally distributed by trainers.

Lake Forest, California May 23, 2014
The National Football League (NFL) allegedly allowed pain-masking drugs to be “illegally administered” to its players, according to a new class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of San Francisco by Thomas J. Byrne and Mel Owens, founding partners of the law firm Namanny, Byrne and Owens (NBO Law) of Lake Forest, California.

The case (Case3:14-cv-02324) names eight plaintiffs who collectively played in the NFL for 16 different teams over 40 seasons from 1969 – 2008, including Jeremy Newberry, Richard Dent, Roy Green, Keith Van Horne, Ron Stone, Jim McMahon, J.D. Hill and Ron Pritchard.

They, along with 600 other former NFL players who have already joined the lawsuit, tell a remarkably similar story – the lawsuit alleges that trainers illegally distributed large amounts of prescription pills for more than four decades.

According to Owens, lead counsel representing the players, the lawsuit was filed on May 20. The NFL has yet to file a formal response, but Owens said the players will “collectively fight for answers and solutions.”

Among numerous allegations against the NFL, the lawsuit says:

“…NFL has illegally and unethically substituted pain medications for proper health care…”

“…medications were often administered without a prescription and with little regard for a player’s medical history or potentially-fatal interactions with other medications. Administering medications in this cavalier manner constitutes a fundamental misuse of carefully-controlled prescription medications and a clear danger to the players.”

“NFL directly and indirectly supplied players with and encouraged players to use opioids to manage pain before, during and after games in a manner the NFL knew or should have known constituted a misuse of the medications and violated Federal drug laws.”

Retired NFL players misuse opioids at a rate more than four times that of their peers, according to a 2010 study of 644 league veterans by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Even upon retirement, 15 percent of those who misused opioids during their careers continued to misuse, according to the study, even though they were no longer playing.

The lawsuit does not involve any head or brain injuries.


The Law Firm of Namanny, Byrne & Owens provides counsel and representation on a broad array of sports-related legal matters, specializing in workers’ compensation for professional athletes. The firm Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin and White of Baltimore, Maryland also represents the players with NBO Law in this case.

For media inquiries please contact NBO Law’s marketing division, SunUp Group. SunUp Group can be reached at info(at)sunupgroup(dot)com, sunupgroup.com, or 877.609.3840 ext. 720.

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