NFL sued by former players over brain injuries

A dozen former National Football League players have sued the NFL for failing to prevent or mitigate their brain injury when the League knew that concussions on the gridiron could lead to long-term brain injuries. One of the plaintiffs is a former Florida player who signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins but was released after a few months.

The players’ lawsuit focuses on the use of the drug Toradol, an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. The suit alleges that team trainers administered the drug widely in doses that masked brain injury symptoms. As a result players say they never felt the warning signs of a concussion after high-impact plays, so they played through the pain. This, they said was exactly what the NFL wanted them to do, and why the League continues to give players Toradol to this day.

The players who sued allege that they suffer from a range of ailments related to brain injury, including vertigo, depression, sleep disturbances, headaches, short-term memory loss and lack of focus. Their lawyers call Toradol the “unspoken doping scandal” in professional football. High school and college teams may also use the drug.

This season, a NFL league observer, who watches the game from the press box, is charged with alerting both teams’ medical staffs of possible injuries to players. Despite this monitoring, two months ago a player kept playing after he suffered a concussion during an away game; he had a grand mal seizure, suffering muscle contractions and loss of consciousness, on the flight home.

Source: Medical Daily, “Ex-Players Sue NFL, Claim Concussions Coverup,” Adam Daley, Dec. 6, 2011