Former NFL players sue over concussions

Michelle Keahey Feb. 21, 2012, 1:00am


NEW ORLEANS - Several former professional football players have filed a class action against the NFL for failing to adequately warn of the dangers associated with concussions and other head injuries.

Claiming they have developed mental or physical problems from concussions suffered while playing football, 11 former players and their spouses filed the class action against the National Football League and Riddell Sports Group on Feb. 17 in federal court in New Orleans.

The players accuse the NFL of misrepresenting and concealing medical evidence regarding the risks associated with concussions for approximately 16 years.

In an effort to take responsibility of the risks associated with playing professional football, the NFL created the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee (MTBI) in 1994. According to the lawsuit, this committee consisted of unqualified physicians and served as a "roadblock" for those who were attempting to protect players from concussions and brain injury.

The former players argue that multiple concussions can cause severe mental problems such as depression and early-onset dementia and physical problems including brain degeneration.

Causes of action filed against the NFL and Riddell include negligence, fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation and conspiracy.

The named plaintiffs include Tyrone Hughes, Eric Hill, Dewana Hill, Curtis Baham, Leslie Baham, John Fourcade, Raion Hill, Maurice Hurst, Alleasia Hurst, Treverane Faulk, Rachael Faulk, Keaton Cromartie, Vince Buck, Erika Buck, Charles Commiskey and Tyrone Legette.

The class action seeks to represent all NFL football players and the spouses of the players, who sustained one or more concussions or suffered concussion-like symptoms and who have developed or will develop mental or physical problems as a result of the injuries.

The plaintiffs are asking for more than $5 million for general and compensatory damages, special damages, punitive damages, interest, court costs and attorney's fees.

The proposed class is represented by James R. Dugan II, Douglas R. Plymale, David Franco and Kevin Oufnac of The Dugan Law Firm in New Orleans, Allan Berger, Norman F. Hodgins III, and Andrew J. Geiger of Allan Berger & Associates in New Orleans and Christopher A. Seeger and Jonathan Shub of Seeger Weiss in New York. A jury trial is requested.

The lawsuit is expected to be consolidated with similar lawsuits in Philadelphia.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00459

More News