More than 100 former professional football players Thursday joined the growing list of those who are suing the NFL over concussion-related injuries. They say the league did not do enough to protect them from harm.
Among those involved in the newest lawsuit are former Atlanta Falcons Jamal Anderson and O.J. Santiago and former Green Bay Packer Dorsey Levens. More than 1,500 other ex-NFL players have filed similar suits against the league.
The latest lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta by attorney Mike McGlamry, states that the NFL “repeatedly refuted the connection between concussions and brain injury.”
It goes on to assert that the organization failed “to take reasonable steps necessary to protect players from devastating head injuries. Moreover, the NFL has downplayed and misrepresented the issues and misled players concerning the risks associated with concussions.”
Regarding these claims, the NFL has repeatedly stated that player safety is a priority. The NFL has said that “any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit.”
Similar suits against the NFL have already been consolidated for trial in Philadelphia, but a trial date has not been set.
The new lawsuit comes one day after NFL legend Junior Seau killed himself. His death, along with the recent suicides of former NFL players Ray Easterling and Dave Duerson, has led to speculation over whether brain-related injuries the men suffered during their playing days could be to blame. — TEB
The police have yet to determine whether the 43-year-old linebacker did, in fact, commit suicide. But because his death follows so closely on the heels of two high-profile suicides in former NFL defensive backs, many are wondering if the concussions Seau sustained during his 20 years as a hard-hitting star, known mostly for his stint with the San Diego Chargers, including the 1994 Super Bowl team, were implicated in his death.
In February 2011, former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson committed suicide at age 50, choosing to shoot himself in the chest so that scientists could look for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease linked to head blows that can culminate in dementia and other symptoms. And just last month, former Atlanta Falcon Ray Easterling, who had sued the NFL for mismanaging players’ concussions, shot and killed himself at age 62.
Experts interviewed by msnbc.com were mixed in their opinions on whether Seau’s concussions could have led to his apparent suicide. All agreed that there should be more research on the impact of head injuries on the risk for depression and suicide.
Jamal Anderson's Facebook page
Jamal Anderson played eight seasons for the Atlanta Falcons.