Football has returned, but what will be the fate of other productions — including football movies — proceeding despite known health risks? In the era of COVID, there’s quite a few of them.In a perhaps surprising ruling, a Los Angeles judge has allowed the family of deceased football player Darryl Hammond to move forward in a wrongful death lawsuit targeting Disney and Paramount Pictures.
The suit accuses the studios of concealing information about the risks of head injuries from football. Hammond, who played 15 years of arena football, was an extra on the 2005 film The Longest Yard, starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, as well as the 2006 film Invincible, starring Mark Wahlberg. The complaint speaks to how the studios allegedly wanted violent scenes and directed him to be repeatedly tackled during rehearsals and filming.
In response to the suit, the studios argued that Hammond’s family has blurred the differences between a professional football career and a limited role in a choreographed motion picture. But for now, the allegations are enough to move to discovery in the eyes of L.A. Superior Court Judge David Sotelo.