NFL players join forces to sue league over concussion
Published: 7th Jun 2012 22:26:24
Thousands of former American football players are suing the National Football League, alleging it hid the dangers of football-related head traumas.
The newly filed lawsuit combines more than 80 prior that seek to hold the league responsible for treatment of brain injuries and diseases.
The suit also accuses the NFL of glorifying violence through its NFL Films division.
The league has denied similar accusations in the past.
In a statement, the NFL said it was reviewing the complaint, filed on Thursday.
"The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL sought to mislead players has no merit," the statement said.
The complaint alleges that for years the National Football League (NFL) "was aware of the health risks associated with repetitive blows".
I wish I could sit down with [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] and share with him the pain”
Strong, heavy and fast-moving American football players can generate huge force when colliding on the field of play, with helmet-to-helmet impacts common in many phases of the game.
"Despite its knowledge and controlling role in governing player conduct on and off the field, the NFL turned a blind eye to the risk and failed to warn and/or impose safety regulations governing this well-recognized health and safety problem," the complaint says.
Former running back Kevin Turner developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after his time in the NFL. He told reporters on a conference call he hoped the legal action would push the NFL to improve its safety practices.
"I want this game to be around [in the future], to be a great sport, a sport that my own boys will be able to play and enjoy all the benefits I believe football has," Mr Turner said.
But he added that the NFL had largely ignored effect of multiple concussions and the difficulties faced by retiring players.
The NFL provides a series of medical benefits to former players, including a programme providing funding to treat dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and ALS, but does not require them to prove a connection to their football careers.
The combined lawsuit comes several months after the suicide of Junior Seau, a former San Diego Chargers player, and the 2011 suicide of former Chicago Bears star Dave Duerson.
Seau's ex-wife, Gina, told the Associated Press news agency that over the course of his 20-year football career, Seau suffered multiple concussions.
Seau's family has donated his brain for research into the effects of head trauma on football players.
Duerson's family have already filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL, and are plaintiffs on the combined suit.
One of the plaintiffs, Mary Ann Easterling, remains on the lawsuit despite the suicide of her husband former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling in April.
Ms Easterling told AP she believed the NFL had no idea what families of football players with brain injuries have to live with.
"I wish I could sit down with [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] and share with him the pain. It's not just the spouses, it's the kids, too," she said, referring to the behavioural problems associated with long-term brain trauma.
"Kids don't understand why Dad is angry all the time."
At 23:35:48 in WorldA young girl offered US First Lady Michelle Obama her father's CV during questions at the White House's Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
At 23:12:26 in SportFormula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone made his first appearance in a Munich court on Thursday, accused of giving a £27.5m ($45m, 33m euros) bribe to a German banker.
At 22:51:02 in EntertainmentA village museum in East Sussex will go up against Tate Britain and the new £35m Mary Rose Museum in a contest to be named the UK's museum of the year.
At 22:42:55 in BusinessBarclays agreed to a $280m (£167m) settlement with the US Federal Housing and Finance Authority (FHFA).
At 22:30:17 in EnglandThe government says it is making "urgent inquiries" into reports Whitehall computers were used to make insulting comments about the Hillsborough disaster.
At 22:22:33 in HeadlinesRussia and the US have accused each other of failing to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine after Kiev launched raids on pro-Moscow separatists.
At 22:19:49 in SportWorld number one Rafael Nadal booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open with a 6-3 6-3 win over Croatian Ivan Dodig.
At 22:13:15 in SportFormer Rangers, Hearts and Scotland defender Sandy Jardine has died at the age of 65.
At 22:00:20 in PoliticsThe zero-hours contract - alongside the payday loan and the bad bank - has gained a kind of totemic significance in the public imagination.
At 22:00:03 in ScotlandScottish independence would leave working people north and south of the border worse off, Ed Miliband has claimed.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. NFL players join forces to sue league over concussion [Online] (Updated 7th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1433349/NFL-players-join-forces-to-sue-league-over-concussion [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
A village museum in East Sussex will go up against Tate Britain and the new £35m Mary Rose Museum in a contest to be named the UK's museum of the year.
A young girl offered US First Lady Michelle Obama her father's CV during questions at the White House's Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
Skin grown in the laboratory can replace animals in drug and cosmetics testing, UK scientists say.
A 15 year-old girl has been cut free after becoming trapped in a children's swing in a park in Denbighshire.
Ten candidates will be vying for three European parliament seats in Northern Ireland, it has been confirmed.
Internet retailer Amazon reported a 32% jump in profits to $108m (£64m) in the first quarter of 2014.