In what has become a contentious issue in professional football, a group of 75 NFL players are suing the NFL over traumatic brain injuries resulting from concussions. Players from NFL teams in New York and across the country allege that the NFL knew about the dangers presented by concussions for more than 90 years, and that they failed to warn players until only recently.
Their lawsuit also claims that the NFL attempted to hide knowledge about traumatic brain injuries from everyone involved in professional football, including coaches, players and the general public.
According to prevailing medical opinion, multiple concussions can lead to memory loss and dementia, and it can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). All of the players named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit have suffered injuries as the result of numerous concussions sustained while playing in the NFL. Many of the players involved in the lawsuit also named their wives as plaintiffs.
Riddell, the official manufacturer of helmets supplied to the NFL, is also listed as a defendant in the action. The suit alleges that the NFL and Riddell only began warning players about the potential cumulative effects of concussions as late as June of 2010.
A spokesperson for the NFL says they have not seen the complaint, but states that they will argue strongly against the players’ allegations. An individual speaking on behalf of the helmet maker, Riddell, declined to offer comment on the lawsuit, saying that the company has not reviewed the lawsuit.
The NFL has made rules changes to the game in the recent past, including specifying how and where a player can be hit. Studies concerning the safety of helmets used in the game are also underway.
Source: ESPN, “Ex-players sue NFL over concussions,” 20 July 2011