On August 31, I wrote on the settlement of the NFL Concussion law suit involving 4,500 players. hereThe league agreed to a $765,000,000 settlement. In that article, I mentioned that the suit was over for the players who were part of the law suit, but that other players may file new cases. That happened in New Orleans on Sunday. (In the digital era, courts are never closed!)
The four plaintiffs in this case, Rich Maunti, Jimmy Williams, Jimmy Keyes, and Nolan Franz are suing over the same issues that the original 4,500 players claimed in their law suit. These issues are, headaches, dizziness, memory loss, depression, cognitive impairment, and medical bills because of concussions and other brian injuries caused by traumatic brain injury. Curiously, I have not seen a reference to the three named conditions of the settlement agreement, Alzheimer’s, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and dementia. It may that these syndromes are thought to be subsumed by the “other brain injury” claim. Three wives are also part of the lawsuit saying, “brain injuries have deprived them and will deprive them and other NFL spouses of their husband’s services, society and companionship.”
The suit also names Riddell, the helmet manufacturer as a defendant, saying, “it failed to protect players from brain injury.” Riddell is part of the original suit, but was not included in the settlement. I have not seen material indicating the size of the claims against Riddell, but helmets do carry a warning as to the potential danger of playing football.
I assume more players will join the New Orleans suit and make the same claims that were cited in the original lawsuit. What is critical here is that these players can not be said to have been warned of the dangers of traumatic brain injury as have current players, therefore, there can be no “assumed risk” defense by the NFL. This will be interesting and I wonder at how many players and wives will join this suit. It will not end soon.
By the way, paricipation in youth football is declining as parents are paying attention to this problem.