Two more lawsuits have been filed against the National Football League, accusing the league of putting players, including players in Baltimore, on the field despite knowing the evidence that the game could lead to brain injuries and other long-term neurological disorders.
The lawsuits, filed on behalf of 25 former NFL players total, contend the players are subject to permanent brain damage related to concussions they incurred on the field.
The plaintiffs in the new cases include at least one former Baltimore Ravens player. Each lawsuit contends that the former players are suffering from concussion-related maladies such as headaches and memory loss. Additionally, the suit charges that the league and its teams wanted players to return to the field quickly after potentially suffering a concussion.
These filings are in addition to a suit filed in July 2011 by 75 former players, who charged that NFL leaders knew as far back as the beginning of the league in the 1920s that players could suffer long-term effects of concussions but didn’t warn them until 2010.
One of the pieces of evidence the plaintiffs point to in that case, according to news reports, is a study done by the Boston University School of Medicine Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. The study found the disease affected the brains in all but one of the 15 players researchers studied. Encephalopathy is a brain disease believed to be the result of repeated brain trauma.
The league issued a statement in reaction to the new lawsuit assuring players that their health and safety was the league’s top priority and that officials made no attempt to conceal the dangers of football from the players.
In the aftermath of a concussion to a quarterback in early December, the league has committed to placing a certified athletic trainer not affiliated with any team on the sidelines to watch for players exhibiting signs of concussions.
The players were correct in consulting with personal injury attorneys when filing their lawsuits. This is only the beginning of what will surely be a lengthy litigation process.