Players accuse NFL of failing to warn about effects of concussions

Our Miami personal injury blog has previously discussed the debate about changing rules in our Florida schools regarding how to deal with concussions during sporting events and practices. More coaches, doctors, professional associations, players and parents have become concerned about the effects of concussions after several studies and reports have indicated that multiple concussions can result in serious brain injuries and problems in one’s future.

According to studies and research, individuals who have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury or those who have suffered multiple concussions in their lifetime are at a greater risk of developing dementia or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Although professional associations, such as the National Football League, have been focusing on educating players about treating concussions properly and preventing injuries that can cause concussions, some are questioning whether these associations withheld important information from players in the past regarding the dangerous effects of concussions.

Seventy-five individuals who used to play for the NFL are now suing the league claiming that the league has known about the dangerous effects of concussions for decades but failed to address the issue until last year.

Ex-players mentioned in the lawsuit include Mark Duper of the Miami Dolphins. Many of them, along with their wives, are seeking damages of unspecified amounts. The players who are involved in filing the lawsuit all claim to have suffered from injuries as a result of experiencing multiple concussions during their football careers.

The lawsuit states that, “the NFL knew as early as the 1920s of the harmful effects on a player’s brain of concussions; however, until June of 2010 they concealed these facts from coaches, trainers, players and the public.”

In June 2010, the NFL educated current players about the serious effects of brain injuries and the long-term effects of concussions, but the league failed to notify past players about the dangerous effects they too could also be experiencing after years of playing football. The league also modified rules in an effort to prevent players from sustaining concussions on the field and to properly treat players who did suffer concussions before returning to the field.

The NFL has stated that the lawsuit will be contested. Our Miami personal injury law blog will continue this discussion as more developments occur.

Earlier this year, our blog discussed how former Super Bowl champ Dave Duerson committed suicide and requested in a suicide note that his brain matter be tested for (CTE). He believed that years of enduring concussions while playing for the NFL caused his serious brain injury.


ESPN: “Ex-players sue NFL over concussions,” 20 July 2011