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Former players sue NFL and Riddell for brain injuries


Two more former football players have filed lawsuits against the National Football League, saying they were insufficiently informed about the risks of brain damage inherent in the sport. Riddell, one of the largest manufacturers of football helmets and the only company officially allowed by the NFL to have its names visible on helmets used by pros, was also named in the suits.

Connecticut football fans may remember Bobby Douglass, a former Chicago Bears quarterback, one of the men who filed suit. The other player, John Cornell, who participated in professional training camps following a career at Northwestern.

Both Douglass and Cornell contend that they developed brain injuries from the concussions they suffered playing football. Their suits allege that multiple concussions increased their chances of sustaining permanent brain damage and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The degenerative condition linked to head trauma has been associated with memory problems and depression.

The NFL has agreed to settle lawsuits filed by more than 4,500 football players for an estimated $765 million.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 30 percent of all injury-related deaths have traumatic brain injury as a contributing factor. The CDC also noted that 1.7 million TBIs occur every year. Although most of the focus on traumatic brain injuries has been related to sports, the injury can also be incurred in workplace accidents and motor vehicle accidents.

Whatever the reason for a brain injury, a victim's life will be permanently altered. In most cases, long-term care is needed. A victim's income can be compromised because of medical expenses or an inability to work. Fortunately, victims who incurred their injuries because of negligent actions by another person can hold that person legally responsible. By doing so, a victim can be entitled to compensation that can help with injury-related damages.

Source: Lawyers and Settlements, "More Brain Injury Lawsuits Filed Against NFL," Heidi Turner, Nov. 18, 2013

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