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Brain injury lawsuit: NFL and Texas helmet maker negligent?

Texas football fans may be familiar with the ongoing lawsuit against the NFL for allegedly failing to warn their players about the potential of a head injury. We previously wrote about the lawsuit on Dec. 24, 2011 ("Retired NFL players file brain injury complaint"). The plaintiffs have finally responded to a defense motion asking that the case be thrown out because the ex-players are purportedly 'pre-empted by the collective bargaining agreement.' The players in this lawsuit claim the NFL failed to protect their health or warn them about the long-term consequences or dangers of a brain injury.

The players assert that their claims do not fall under the CBA, so none need to be interpreted by them. They claim their claims are stand-alone and that the NFL was negligent in their actions. A master case was filed in June.

Players allege that the NFL 'deliberately and fraudulently ignored' its duty to inform their players about the potential risks of a brain injury. They go on to accuse the NFL of ignoring and even concealing the information from being released to the players. Before, the lawsuits against the NFL were plentiful concerning this matter and consisted of 80 suits involving about 2,000 plaintiffs. They are requesting the NFL pay damages, medical testing and/or award the players who sustained a brain injury a monetary award.

The lawsuit also names a Texas company as a defendant. It alleges that the NFL helmet makers were also negligent in how they designed and manufactured their helmets for league play. Football can be a high-risk sport when it comes to a brain injury, but in the past it appears the dangers may have been underplayed. The case could be scheduled to be heard early in 2013.

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, "Plaintiffs respond to NFL's motion in head injuries lawsuit," Jeff Blumenthal, Nov. 1, 2012

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