A complaint on behalf of over 2,000 ex-NFL players was filed against the NFL in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania last week. The complaint alleges that the NFL, "deliberately and fraudulently concealed from its players the link between football-related head impacts and long-term neurological injuries."
The complaint has consolidated 85 lawsuits relating to concussions originally filed by former NFL players and their families.
The players contend they were not warned about taking proper precautions to prevent brain injuries, but instead suffered serious neurological injuries because of recurring blows. In addition, players argue they were frequently told to get back on the field too quickly after suffering concussions.
The master complaint argues for personal damages for the players and continuous medical monitoring by the NFL, to pay for testing and treatment for the players for their entire lives.
These former professional athletes argue that the NFL did not warn them about the serious dangers associated with head injuries. The complaint charges that the NFL should have warned the players of the risks and implemented safety standards to prevent long-term damage.
According to the New York Times, a 2009 study commissioned by the NFL showed ex-players were more likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other memory-related illnesses than the general population. In fact, football players aged 30 to 49 were 19 times more likely to suffer from those types of diseases than men in the same age bracket nationally.
Studies have also shown a strong link between football players who have suffered brain injuries and have been diagnosed with depression.
The NFL denies any wrongdoing.
Source: Philly.com, "Ex-Players Sue NFL Over Brain Injuries," June 8, 2012.