Sophia Pearson of Insurance Journal reports that two members of the NFL alumni, former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Christian Ballard and New Orleans Saints linebacker Gregory Westbrooks have filed a lawsuit to represent all former NFL players. Their accusations? The National Football League Players Association and the league itself have committed fraud, negligence, and civil conspiracy in order to hide the risks of head injuries/concussions.
The formal complaint states, “Despite their knowledge and acceptance of the link between concussive and sub-concussive hits and cognitive declines, defendants continued to actively and purposefully conceal and misrepresent the severe neurological risks of repetitive TBI (traumatic brain injury).” The NFL itself is not listed as a defendant on the formal complaint.
Sadly, there is an abundance of evidence to back up these claims. According to Insurance Journal, “more than 5,000 ex-players have made accusations against the league over head injuries in dozens of lawsuits consolidated in federal court in Philadelphia.” Also, for over 20 years, millions of dollars in disability payments distributed from a retirement board have been awarded to ex-players that suffer from repetitive traumatic brain injury. Long story short, the union has been well aware of the risks.
On July 7th, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody allowed preliminary approval of a $675 million settlement for claims that officials did not warn players of the dangers and associations between concussions and brain injuries.