NEW ORLEANS - Former National Football League players, who claim they have developed mental or physical problems from concussions suffered while playing professional football, have filed class action lawsuits against Riddell and the league for allegedly concealing the risks associated with head injuries.
Michael Brooks, Harold Bishop, Ronnie Halliburton, Liffort Hobley, Justin Vincent, Corey Raymond and Shawn King filed a class action against the National Football League, Riddell Inc. d/b/a Riddell Sports Group Inc., All American Sports Corp. d/b/a Riddell/All American and Riddell Sports Group Inc. on April 13 in federal court in New Orleans.
Another lawsuit was filed on April 23 in federal court here with named plaintiffs including Rickey Jackson, Gary and Karen Barbaro, Brett and Cheri Bech, Corey and Farrah Dixon, Vaugh and Shirley Johnson, Keith and Afton Joseph, Percy and Annette Keith, Derrick and Noel Lewis, Frank and Dana Lockett, Tommy and Susan McCleskey Jr., Richard and Katherine Jackson, and Jimmy and Tanya Spencer.
The suits claim to represent all NFL football players and the spouses of the players who sustained one or more concussions or suffered concussion like symptoms and mental or physical problems as a result of injuries.
The players accuse the NFL of misrepresenting and concealing medical evidence regarding the risks associated with concussions for approximately 16 years. The former players say 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 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 Brooks class action plaintiffs are represented by Lafayette attorney Derriel C. McCorvey, W. James Singleton of The Singleton Law Firm in Shreveport, Vance R. Andrus of Andrus Hood & Wagstaff in Denver, Colorado, and Mike Espy of Jackson, Mississippi.
The Jackson class action plaintiffs are represented by James R. Dugan II, Douglas R. Plymale, David Franco and Kevin Oufnac of The Dugan Law Firm in New Orleans.
The lawsuits are expected to be consolidated with similar class action lawsuits filed last year in Philadelphia.
Case No. 2:12-cv-00941; 2:12-cv-01034