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NFL Hid Link Between Football-Related Head Trauma and Permanent Brain Injuries, Lawsuit Says

June 8, 2012


Plaintiffs hope to hold the league responsible for caring for players suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s diseases and other neurological conditions. “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,” former Eagles and Patriots running back Kevin Turner, now suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, said in the suit.  “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 lawsuit accuses the NFL of “mythologizing” violence through the media, including its own NFL Films branch. The lawsuit also makes claims of negligence and intentional misconduct in its response to headaches, dizziness and dementia reported by ex-players. “After voluntarily assuming a duty to investigate, study, and truthfully report to the public and NFL players, including the Plaintiffs, the medical risks associated with MTBI in football, the NFL instead produced industry-funded, biased, and falsified research that falsely claimed that concussive and sub-concussive head impacts in football do not present serious, life-altering risks,” the complaint says, according to the AP.

The league has rebuffed similar accusations in the past. Currently, the NFL provides a series of medical benefits to help former players, including the 88 Plan, which provides funding to treat dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and ALS.

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