In a USA Today report this week, it was said that 75 former NFL players have filed a lawsuit against the league, claiming that they have known the danger of concussions for years and have kept that information away from the players. The suit was said to be filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, saying that the league knew the harmful effect of concussions as early as the 1920’s.
This litigation comes following the release of an early July report which linked head injuries and trauma to a higher risk of dementia. Within the report, it mentioned specific research on NFL players conducted on nearly 5,000 players in the 2000’s.
The league was apparently caught off guard this week, in the midst of a lockout. Representatives claimed the NFL was unaware of the suit earlier this week. The plaintiff’s will be responsible for presenting a valid argument that proves that the NFL truly knew or should have known about the long term risk of concussions.
It wasn’t until June 2010, that a scientific link between concussions and long term effects in football players started to be recognized by the league. Since this announcement last year, the league has been rather aggressive in their approach, levying more harsh suspensions for severe hits and requiring players to pass a concussion test before coming back to the playing field.
Within the suit, the plaintiffs claim that the NFL conducted a study in 1994, which investigated traumatic brain injury, levying a final report in 2004. In the 2004 conclusion report, the NFL stated that there was no evidence of worsening injury and chronic effects following multiple concussions.
In 2010, the NFL actually acknowledged that multiple concussions can lead to CTE, dementia, memory loss, as well as CTE and related symptoms. Essentially all of the 75 players listed in the suit are alleged to have suffered chronic injuries and illness as a result of concussions accrued during their professional football careers.
Davis, Nate. (July 20, 2011). “NFL denies hiding concussion information as alleged in lawsuit.” Retrieved on July 20, 2011 from USA Today.