NFL faces lawsuits related to brain injuries

Few would argue that football, especially when played at a professional level, is a high-contact sport that can result in a number of serious injuries. While the bodies of professional athletes are conditioned to perform and endure extreme physical activity, many also tend to suffer repeated hits that result in multiple concussions. Today, questions are being raised in a lawsuit related to the long-term consequences of head and brain injuries.

Today, more than 2,400 former professional football players are suing the National Football Association alleging they failed to sufficiently inform and protect players. At issue are questions related to the long-term effects of repeated head and brain injuries that many players suffered. Former players bringing charges against the NFL, claim their former employer knew about the debilitating and irreversible impact of repeated head injuries which can lead to memory loss, dementia and problems with impulse control.

If successful, the lawsuit against the NFL could result in large settlements as well as changes in safety and game requirements. To determine how widespread problems associated with head injuries are in the NFL, a recent study examined former NFL players.

Of those examined, it was determined that 40 percent suffered from problems associated with repeated head and brain injuries including dementia and depression. Many others displayed problems with critical problem-solving, behavioral and impulse control and memory-loss.

Attorneys for the former players are equating tactics employed by NFL officials to those previously utilized by the tobacco industry. They assert that throughout the years the NFL has willingly and knowingly “ignored the risks of traumatic brain injuries” and thus acted with negligence.

Source: The Legal Examiner, “Thousands of former NFL players bringing suit for concussion injuries,” Michael Monheit, July 17, 2012

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