The National Football League and Riddell are once again the defendants
in more civil lawsuits filed by former professional football players blaming
them for their brain injuries. In one wrongful death case, the family
of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson is claiming the NFL and the
football helmet maker are to blame for the 50-year-old’s suicide.
Duerson fatally shot himself in the chest last year.
Duerson’s children are saying that the league acted negligently when they did not warn him that concussions sustained during play may cause permanent injury. They say that their father suffered at least 10 concussions while a member of the NFL and that the brain damage impaired his inhibition, judgment, and impulse control. His family is blaming Riddell for Illinois products liability, contending that the helmets failed to properly protect the football players from concussions.
In a Louisiana personal injury lawsuit, nearly a dozen former NFL players residing in that state are also suing the NFL and Riddell for failing to properly protect players from the risks related to concussions. In their class action complaint, the plaintiffs, including a number of ex-New Orleans Saints, are contending that they each sustained physical and mental problems because they suffered concussions while playing professional football games.
They blame the NFL for disregarding the concussion-related risks even though there was “overwhelming medical evidence” that this type of injury could lead to permanent brain damage and other serious side effects, including memory problems, concentration difficulties, headaches, speech problems, neurological difficulties, and other disabilities.
Also this month, 300 former NFL players sued the NFL, their teams, and, in certain cases, Riddell, for their traumatic brain injuries.
If you believe that your brain injury could have been prevented if only a product manufacturer or another party hadn’t been negligent or failed to do its job, you should speak with an experienced products liability lawyer today. A seemingly mild concussion may later reveal serious, long-term repercussions, as can repeat concussions, which is not uncommon when playing football at the professional level. Unfortunately, a football player whose concussion symptoms end up going away after a few minutes might end up playing again during the same game or, after taking time off to recover, be given the go ahead to play even though he isn’t fully healed. Both of these situations can up the chances of more serious, permanent injury developing.
It wasn’t until the last couple years that the NFL started to taking the long-term effects of concussions seriously. Why did they wait so long considering that for decades there have been studies connecting cognitive erosion with concussions? Also, why didn’t Riddell make sure that the helmets it was making were strong enough to protect football players’ heads upon impact?
Duerson’s Son Sues N.F.L. Over Handling of Concussions, The New York Times, February 23, 2012
Tony Dorsett joins former players in lawsuit against the NFL, WFAA, February 2, 2012
Ex-NFL players sue league in La. over concussions, Denver Post, February 18, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Ex-Pro Football Players Sue Helmet Maker Riddell and NFL for Traumatic Brain Injuries and Products Liability, Product Liability Law Blog, August 31, 2011
Will Your Helmet Prevent a Traumatic Brain Injury During a Winter Sports Accident?, Product Liability Law Blog, August 31, 2012
Head Injury Risk Prompts Triple Eight Distribution to Recall 30,400 Bicycle Helmets for Kids, Product Liability Law Blog, January 6, 2012
Contact our products liability lawyers and The Gilbert Law Group® to find out whether you have grounds for a brain injury lawsuit. Your first case evaluation is free. Call 1-(303) 431-1111.