As one major legal entanglement for the NFL nears a conclusion, another one reportedly begins.
According to the folks at TMZ, 75 former NFL players have sued the league for concealing the risks of concussions. The plaintiffs include former Dolphins receiver Mark Duper (pictured), former Giants and Cardinals running back Ottis Anderson, and former Giants running back Rodney Hampton. Helmet manufacturer Riddell also is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The challenge for the plaintiffs will be to prove that the NFL actually knew, or reasonably should have known, the chronic, long-term risks of concussions. Clear links between concussions and long-term health problems have been established only recently, and the league has responded fairly aggressively (especially after a shot across the bow from Congress) to the problem.
And just as the league supposedly didn’t know for years about the potential problems arising from concussions, the league also doesn’t know about the lawsuit. Reached by e-mail, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that the league is not aware of the claims.
“We have not seen the complaint but would vigorously contest any claims of this kind,” Aiello said.