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Travelers sues NFL, insurers over former players' prescription drug lawsuit

Travelers sues NFL, insurers over former players' prescription drug lawsuit

Travelers Cos. Inc. is suing the National Football League and more than two dozen other insurers in New York state court, saying it has no obligation to defend the NFL in a prescription drug-related lawsuit filed by more than 500 former players.

In a complaint filed July 3 in New York State Supreme Court, Travelers said it issued excess liability insurance policies to the NFL between 1991 and 2002.

The NFL has demanded that Travelers defend and indemnify the league in a class action lawsuit that was filed in May in San Francisco federal court, the complaint says. The class action suit alleges that players suffer permanent injuries and drug addiction because of routine use of painkillers and opioids given to them by the NFL during their careers.

The 26 insurers named as defendants in the Travelers lawsuit have issued liability insurance policies to the NFL, according to the complaint. Those insurers include Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., Novato, California; Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., Hartford, Connecticut; Allstate Insurance Co., Northbrook, Illinois; Munich Reinsurance America Inc., Princeton, New Jersey; and XL Insurance America Inc., Stamford, Connecticut.

Travelers filed a similar lawsuit in 2012 over a series of concussion-related lawsuits filed by thousands of former NFL players. That case is still pending.

A federal judge gave preliminary approval last week to the NFL for an uncapped multimillion-dollar settlement that will compensate retired football players suffering from concussion-related injuries and illnesses.

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