Thousands of Former NFL Players Sue League over Brain Injuries
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 26, 2013 – Former professional football players are suing the National Football League (NFL) over brain injuries suffered on the field.
Over 5,000 former league members have joined in the lawsuit, which alleges that the NFL knew or should have known of the connection between repetitive impacts to the head and a wide array of disorders including Alzheimer’s and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
“This lawsuit is important not just for professional football players, but for everybody, including children, who engage in impact sports without a full understanding of the potential effects,” said Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce, who is not involved in the case. “The evidence of a link between head impacts and long-term brain damage is getting stronger all the time. Players – and especially parents of young players – need to be made aware of this risk. Perhaps this lawsuit can help raise awareness.”
CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain with symptoms including dementia, aggression, and depression, usually occurring many years after repeated head impacts. It is suspected to have contributed to the suicides in recent years of four former NFL players – linebacker Junior Seau and defensive backs Ray Easterling, David Duerson, and Andre Waters. Three of those suicides involved self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the chest, with two of those three leaving suicide notes requesting that their families donate their brains to science. CTE is reliably diagnosed only postmortem.
Currently, plaintiffs and defendants are awaiting U.S. District Judge Anita Brody’s ruling on the NFL’s argument that the collective bargaining agreement they have with the players covers head injuries. If Brody agrees, the cases would go to arbitration between the individual plaintiffs and their respective teams. If Brody rejects the argument, proceedings will revolve around three key questions.
First, what did the NFL know about the brain injury risk, and for how long? Second, did players increase their risks by downplaying their injuries or symptoms? And finally, if the NFL knew or should have known of the risks, how much should they pay in damages?
If the NFL merely should have known about the risks involved, then players who concealed evidence of concussions have contributory negligence, reducing the league’s liability. But if the league actually knew of the risks, contributory negligence does not apply and they may be guilty of fraud.
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave,
Tampa, FL 33606
View Larger Map
- Subcompact Car Crash Tests Yield Sobering Results
With fuel prices rising, subcompact cars, or “minicars,” are becoming more popular, and new models are introduced regularly. But how do those very small and very light vehicles fare in auto accidents? According to a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), perhaps not so well. The IIHS recently subjected 11 popular [...]
- Study Shows Many Accident Victims, Even Those in Pain, Never Consult an Attorney
Almost 4 million people go to U.S. emergency rooms following car accidents each year, and more than 90 percent are discharged after evaluation. Many of them suffer persistent pain from their accidents, but a majority of them never contact an attorney to discuss a lawsuit. Such are the findings of a recent study at the [...]
- Florida Pill Mill Doctor Receives 30-Year Prison Sentence
A Florida Panhandle doctor has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for operating a “pill mill” (a center for the inappropriate or non-medical distribution of narcotics). Dr. Robert L. Ignasiak, 58, was known as “Dr. Bob” in Freeport, Florida. For a period of several years, he worked as the only physician in town. Ignasiak [...]