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#1 Posted : Wednesday, January 23, 2013 5:55:39 PM(UTC)


Add Junior Seau's family to the thousands of people who are suing the NFL over the long-term damage caused by concussions.

Seau's ex-wife and four children sued the league Wednesday, saying the former linebacker's suicide was the result of brain disease caused by violent hits he sustained while playing football.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in San Diego, blames the NFL for its "acts or omissions" that hid the dangers of repetitive blows to the head. It says Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from those hits, and accuses the NFL of deliberately ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries.

Seau died at age 43 of a self-inflicted gunshot in May. He was diagnosed with CTE, based on posthumous tests, earlier this month.

An Associated Press review in November found that more than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in at least 175 cases as the concussion issue has gained attention in recent years. The total number of plaintiffs is 6,000 when spouses, relatives and other representatives are included.

Scores of the concussion lawsuits have been brought together before U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody in Philadelphia.

"Our attorneys will review it and respond to the claims appropriately through the court," the NFL said in a statement Wednesday.

Helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc., also is a defendant, with the Seau family saying Riddell was "negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets" used by NFL players. The suit says the helmets were unreasonably dangerous and unsafe.

Riddell issued a statement saying it is, "confident in the integrity of our products and our ability to successfully defend our products against challenges."

Seau was one of the best linebackers during his 20 seasons in the NFL, retiring in 2009.

"We were saddened to learn that Junior, a loving father and teammate, suffered from CTE," the family said in a statement released to the AP. "While Junior always expected to have aches and pains from his playing days, none of us ever fathomed that he would suffer a debilitating brain disease that would cause him to leave us too soon.

"We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior. But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations."

Plaintiffs are listed as Gina Seau, Junior's ex-wife; Junior's children Tyler, Sydney, Jake and Hunter, and Bette Hoffman, trustee of Seau's estate.

The lawsuit accuses the league of glorifying the violence in pro football, and creating the impression that delivering big hits "is a badge of courage which does not seriously threaten one's health."

It singles out NFL Films and some of its videos for promoting the brutality of the game.

"In 1993's 'NFL Rocks,' Junior Seau offered his opinion on the measure of a punishing hit: 'If I can feel some dizziness, I know that guy is feeling double (that)," the suit says.

The NFL consistently has denied allegations similar to those in the lawsuit.

"The NFL, both directly and in partnership with the NIH, Centers for Disease Control and other leading organizations, is committed to supporting a wide range of independent medical and scientific research that will both address CTE and promote the long-term health and safety of athletes at all levels," the league told the AP after it was revealed Seau had CTE.

The lawsuit claims money was behind the NFL's actions.

"The NFL knew or suspected that any rule changes that sought to recognize that link (to brain disease) and the health risk to NFL players would impose an economic cost that would significantly and adversely change the profit margins enjoyed by the NFL and its teams," the Seaus said in the suit.

The National Institutes of Health, based in Bethesda, Md., studied three unidentified brains, one of which was Seau's, and said the findings on Seau were similar to autopsies of people "with exposure to repetitive head injuries."

"It was important to us to get to the bottom of this, the truth," Gina Seau told the AP then. "And now that it has been conclusively determined from every expert that he had obviously had CTE, we just hope it is taken more seriously. You can't deny it exists, and it is hard to deny there is a link between head trauma and CTE. There's such strong evidence correlating head trauma and collisions and CTE."

In the final years of his life, Seau went through wild behaviour swings, according to Gina and to 23-year-old son, Tyler. There also were signs of irrationality, forgetfulness, insomnia and depression.

"He emotionally detached himself and would kind of 'go away' for a little bit," Tyler Seau said. "And then the depression and things like that. It started to progressively get worse."
#2 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:27:38 AM(UTC)
When are people going to start blaming players for the "pussification" of the NFL? Dramatically changing the rules is the only way the NFL will be able to survive, period.
#3 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:47:14 AM(UTC)
how are people going to prove in court they (as in themselves, the players) couldnt realize thousands of hits to the head over years would lead to brain damage and needed the nfl to spell it out for them
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:42:55 PM(UTC)
All those hits also contributed to many millions in his bank account. Nobody forced him to play football.
#5 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2013 5:18:35 PM(UTC)
The last 2 comments make the most sense.
Kanata and GBguy hit the nail on the head.
Once again, it's the lack of people wanting to take blame for their own actions.
Getting smacked around....who doden't think there is the possibility of long term damage? To ignore that is the blame of the player. As also was said, you didn't hear the complaining when their bank accounts were piling up.
It's part of the business. Millions of dollars, versus the possibility of long term damage.

YOU make the choice of whether you want to take that chance or not. Not ONE player was FORCED to take the money and run.

So you never have to work another day in your life. You don't have to put 40 hours a week for 50 years, then HOPE you have enough saved up to be able to retire. You work 10 to 15 years, have more money then you can spend (unless you piss it away) can retire before you are 40.

YOU make the choice.

My health is screwed up, and i never had a job that afforded me millions of bucks. I'm WAY below poverty level. If i had the talent to play in the NFL, i would have JUMPED at the chance.
And every job has posible health harards.
I worked for several years in a lead factory. I can't help but wonder if some of my health problems stem from that job. And i made less then $7 an hour.
#6 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:53:30 PM(UTC)
gbguy20 said: Go to Quoted Post
how are people going to prove in court they (as in themselves, the players) couldnt realize thousands of hits to the head over years would lead to brain damage and needed the nfl to spell it out for them

It's BECAUSE of those hits that they need the NFL to spell it out for them. Lets Box!
#7 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 9:30:10 PM(UTC)
I'm so glad that they ruled out him having any concussions in college or high school or pee wee...

Seriously... Why aren't they suing them?
#8 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 9:33:49 PM(UTC)
Why aren't boxers suing?
#9 Posted : Saturday, January 26, 2013 4:31:59 PM(UTC)
Zero2Cool said: Go to Quoted Post
Why aren't boxers suing?

Excellent point Zero...add hockey players to the list. There isn't a sport with the speed and violence of hockey...and they play a hell of a lot more games also.

#10 Posted : Saturday, January 26, 2013 4:51:15 PM(UTC)
Zero2Cool said: Go to Quoted Post
Why aren't boxers suing?

Neither come close to touching the revenues of the NFL... but if the players prove successful, other sports athletes will follow. Just a matter of time.
User is suspended until 5/28/2018 11:54:40 AM(UTC) DakotaT  
#11 Posted : Saturday, January 26, 2013 7:12:25 PM(UTC)
Not one of you mentioned the negligence of the coaching and medical staffs on the sidelines. The NFL is culpable for these guys being vegetables now, as is the US Government for all of our screwed up veterans returning home from active combat. What happened to this country - why is right and wrong so difficult to see anymore?
#12 Posted : Saturday, January 26, 2013 8:06:23 PM(UTC)
RajiRoar said: Go to Quoted Post
I'm so glad that they ruled out him having any concussions in college or high school or pee wee...

Seriously... Why aren't they suing them?

Not as much money available.
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