PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A concussion-related lawsuit bringing together scores of cases has been filed in federal court, accusing the NFL of hiding information that linked football-related head trauma to permanent brain injuries.
Lawyers for former players say more than 80 pending lawsuits are consolidated in the “master complaint” filed Thursday in Philadelphia.
Plaintiffs hope to hold the NFL responsible for the care of players suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. Other former players remain asymptomatic, but worry about the future and want medical monitoring. The helmet-maker Riddell, Inc. also is named as a defendant.
“I want this game to be around, to be a great sport, a sport that my own boys will be able to play and enjoy all the benefits I believe that football has,” said former Eagles and Patriots running back Kevin Turner, now suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
“Let’s face it and be honest, I feel like the NFL has over the past decades – at least until `08 or `09 – kind of turned a blind eye to the seriousness of not only concussions … but the cumulative effect of (hits) and how these retired players are having so much difficulty in getting along in their daily lives.”
The suit accuses the NFL of “mythologizing” and glorifying violence through the media, including its NFL Films division.
“The NFL, like the sport of boxing, was aware of the health risks associated with repetitive blows producing sub-concussive and concussive results and the fact that some members of the NFL player population were at significant risk of developing long-term brain damage and cognitive decline as a result,” the complaint charges.
“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.”