Traumatic brain injury among high school and middle school athletes, especially in football and hockey players, has received a lot of attention in recent months. However, the likelihood of a concussion or other head injury is even greater among pro players. And professional players have not always received the care they need after a brain injury during a game. Moreover, they are often allowed or encouraged to play after sustaining a serious head injury.
The result has been a growing number of former NFL players who have sued the league, alleging that the NFL negligently failed to provide the care and treatment needed by injured football players. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of former football players and their families across the country, alleges that the league deliberately withheld information from players that directly impacted their health and safety. The NFL is also accused of using hand-picked doctors who minimized the long-term risks of an inherently dangerous game.
The NFL has countered by pointing to efforts to improve player safety that it has implemented in recent years. Certain types of tackling have been banned. Moreover, the teams have instituted the practice of having unaffiliated doctors – not employees of the league or team – on the sidelines during games to evaluate player injuries.
In January, a panel of judges ordered the individual lawsuits filed in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Georgia, be consolidated into a single class action lawsuit to be heard in federal court in Pennsylvania.
Source: CNN. Com, ” Former NFL players sue league over head injuries,” by David Ariosto, Dec. 22, 2011.