Former NFL professional athletes across the country have filed more than 80 lawsuits seeking damages for brain injuries suffered on the playing field. All those lawsuits have now been consolidated into one. The common, central message that all the ex-athletes are asserting is that the NFL concealed from them the fact that head trauma suffered during football games frequently leads to brain injuries that are severe and permanent.
The players believe that as a consequence, the NFL should be compelled to provide compensation and expenses for those currently suffering from debilitating neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. They also argue that even those who are currently not experiencing such mental difficulties have cause for concern about their future health, and therefore are in dire need of systematic medical monitoring to be paid for by the NFL.
The plaintiffs feel that the NFL glorified the violent aspects of the game while minimizing the risks of concussions and other head traumas caused by repetitive blows to the skull. They say that the league, content to profit from the physical punishment meted out to players, was extremely lax by failing to give them warnings and known information about risks, or to impose safety rules that might have saved some players' brains from cognitive disarray.
Claims in the lawsuit include negligence and intentional misconduct. The league allegedly downplayed the seriousness of symptoms that players were experiencing from head trauma, such as dizziness, headaches or even signs of dementia. The number of plaintiffs in the consolidated lawsuit is 3,356, which includes players, their spouses and other relatives. Approximately 2,138 of the plaintiffs are former NFL players.
Source: Crain's New York, "Mega-lawsuit says NFL hid brain injury links," June 7, 2012