HOUSTON – A federal judge ordered a former Houston Texans linebacker’s turf injury lawsuit remanded to state district court.
United States District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt issued an order sending the suit pitting Demeco Ryans against the team and several entities back to the Harris County 133rd District Court on May 2.
Ryans, who played for the Texans from 2006 to 2011, initiated legal action late last year. According to the two-time Pro Bowler, a torn Achilles tendon he suffered during a 2014 regular season game as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles put an end to his decade-long career.
The Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas took over the case in January.
Per the Texans, Ryans’ injury is a case of first impression. They further assert it is the first in which an NFL player seeks to recover under state law for injuries sustained on the field of play during game play.
In the seven-page order, Hoyt ruled that Ryans’ claims against the defendants are not preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act because the resolution of his claims do not require an interpretation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“While the court acknowledges that the CBA governs certain aspects of the plaintiff’s contractual agreement with the NFL, the court is of the opinion that the terms contained therein would not be implicated in the course of the plaintiff’s presentation of his negligence claims,” wrote Hoyt.
The order adds that Ryans has not invoked the CBA to satisfy any of the elements of his claim.
Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:16-CV-3554
Harris County 133rd District Court Case No. 2016-70179