The National Football League (NFL) has been hit with another lawsuit by former players. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien, along with 126 other former NFL players, has sued the NFL over “repeated traumatic injuries to his head” sustained during his 11-season career.
According to this article in the Washington Times, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on March 23, 2012. The lawsuit alleges that the NFL was aware of the risks of repetitive traumatic brain injury but hid the information and misled players, resulting in permanent brain damage or neurological disorders.
According to the lawsuit, Mr. Rypien “suffers from various neurological conditions and symptoms related to the multiple head traumas.”
In response to the lawsuit, the NFL released the following statement: “The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit. It stands in contrast to the league’s actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions.”
Rypien’s lawsuit is just the latest in a string of head injury litigation involving the NFL. As we reported, last summer 75 former NFL football players filed a lawsuit against the NFL seeking unspecified damages for head injuries that were sustained over the course of their careers. The players allege that the NFL knew of the harmful risks associated with multiple concussions as early as the 1920s, but did not disclose this information to players until 2010. The lawsuit also named Riddell, the popular football helmet manufacturer, as a defendant in the lawsuit.
More recently, as discussed in this article, hundreds of former NFL players have filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL in a federal court in Philadelphia alleging that they were deceived about the risks of concussions and that the NFL failed to warn players about the risks of possible brain damage if they returned to play before concussion symptoms had concluded. The players seek damages and medical monitoring for medical conditions that were caused by head trauma, including memory loss, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
Football head injuries represent one of the most common sports-related head injuries. According to an American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), there were an estimated 446,788 sports-related head injuries treated at U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2009, with football injuries among the leading causes.
Head injuries, including concussions, are a serious medical condition that should not be overlooked or understated. An athlete who suffers a concussion is up to four times more likely to sustain a second concussion, according to neurologists. Multiple concussions can cause serious and lasting neurological consequences. When a football player returns to play before he has fully recovered from the initial concussion, the athlete is at serious risk for second impact syndrome (SIS). SIS can result in massive swelling of the brain and, in some cases, may lead to a loss of blood flow to the brain.
If you or a loved one has suffered a football head injury, contact the Chicago football head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible cause of action to obtain compensation for football head injuries.