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Update on NFL Concussions Lawsuit in light of the Suicide of Ray Easterling

Written by Ankin Law Office

An ongoing legal battle has been brewing between the NFL and former football players for the past several months.  Further complicating the emotional and legal struggle of many current and former NFL football players who have suffered traumatic head injuries is the fact that Ray Easterling, the lead plaintiff in one of the lawsuits filed against the NFL, commited suicide last month.

According to this article, Easterling was the lead plaintiff in a group of seven former NFL players who filed suit against the NFL last August, alleging that the NFL failed to properly treat players for traumatic head injuries, including concussions, and tried to conceal the link between football and head injuries.  Since Easterling’s lawsuit was filed, 60 other similar lawsuits have been filed on behalf of more than 1,200 former players, according to

The lawsuit that Easterling had filed also included former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon as a plaintiff.  Along with the other plaintiffs, Easterling and McMahan sought monetary damages, a court-ordered requirement that the NFL create a medical monitoring program, and the establishment of a trust fund to pay for the monitoring of all past, present and future NFL players who sustain concussions.  Easterling’s wife, who is also a named plaintiff, plans to proceed with the lawsuit.

As this article states, the 61st concussion-related lawsuit was filed in a Philadelphia federal court with former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura as the lead plaintiff.  A similar lawsuit was filed on behalf of former NFL safety Dave Duerson, who committed suicide in February of 2011.

As we recently reported, in March,  hundreds of former NFL players 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.

Additionally 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 alleged 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.

Head injuries, including concussions, are a serious medical condition that should not be overlooked or understated.  As we discussed in this post, the Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the marketing practices and claims of Riddell and other leading helmet manufacturers.

The effects of traumatic brain injuries can be exacerbated if they go ignored for too long.  If you or a loved one experiences a head injury, such as a concussion, medical attention should be obtained immediately.    The Chicago sports-related head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC have considerable experience representing athletes who are the victims of sports-related injuries, including football head injuries and hockey head injuries.  Contact us at (312) 600-0000 if you or a loved has suffered a sports-related head injury.

Categories: Personal Injury