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Pittman, other join the concussion lawsuits

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Last week, former NFL running back Michael Pittman talked in compelling fashion about the effects of his concussions during an appearance on WDAE radio.  Pittman said that, if he had known about the long-term impact of concussions, he may have retired after absorbing the first two or three of the seven or eight he sustained at the NFL level.

Pittman also said that he had yet to sue the NFL, but that he may.

He has.

Via NFLConcussionLitigation.com, Pittman is one of 41 plaintiffs in a new suit filed in Los Angeles.  The lead plaintiff in the case is former Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp, who previously had been named as a plaintiff in a different action.

A separate suit filed in Los Angeles names 58 plaintiffs, include the estate of Eagles safety Andre Waters, Hall of Famer Jim Marshall, and former Panthers tight end Wesley Walls.

The total number of lawsuits has grown to 86, with more than 2,200 former players seeking compensation.

The primary challenge for players from Kapp’s and Marshall’s era (and previously) will be to prove that anyone knew anything about the long-term effects of concussions — other than the obvious reality that it’s not good to repeatedly bang your head into things, helmet or otherwise.

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21 Responses to “Pittman, other join the concussion lawsuits”
  1. 303bengalguy says: Jun 5, 2012 10:53 AM

    In all seriousness, can helmets not just be made better? I’m all for them even looking stupid if they have to (we’ll get over the aesthetics eventually – of a giant helmet or something like that), so that the game doesn’t really have to change much?

    It’s gonna be a sad day when the game changes because of this, if it has to (and I think we can all agree that it should, to some extent so guys don’t go committing suicide anymore). Fix the helmets dudes wear as a first line of defense to this issue. With all the technology out there, I gotta think we could be making better helmets… or some sort of head/neck protection device.

  2. 303bengalguy says: Jun 5, 2012 10:54 AM

    Second thought… why do helmets have to have a hard crown? Can’t they move to a resin or rubberized outter shell at this point? I know it can be done. Wouldn’t that seriously help here?

  3. bucstats says: Jun 5, 2012 10:59 AM

    Everyone assumes Jim Marshall is a Hall of Famer. Sadly, he is not.

  4. krycek84 says: Jun 5, 2012 11:12 AM

    Today, players knows risk about concussion and after-effects but how many Bradys, Johnsons, Harrisons, Lewis quit ?

    None, only roster camp players.
    I think it would have been the same thing with former players, as long they get paycheks, they will continue to play

  5. 69finfan says: Jun 5, 2012 11:12 AM

    Well that didn’t take long. I listened to MP on WDAE last week and figured his joining a lawsuit was not far away. On another note no matter what helmets are made of, no matter how they are designed there is no way to completely protect against concussions. There is no way to completely stop the brain from hitting the inside of the skull in a violent collision and an abrubt stop which in it’s simplest form is what causes concussions.

  6. eagleswin says: Jun 5, 2012 11:26 AM

    Exhibit A for the NFL should be the fact that the union will not allow the NFL to mandate the latest in safety technology (latest concussion resistant helmets, mouthguards, leg pads) without “further study”.

    Exhibit B should be that the organization which represents the players and that is holding up the implementation of making the game safer is also not named in the lawsuits.

    A smart judge might be able to connect the dots on that one. The players do not want to be protected until such a time as their income dries up.

  7. elmobad says: Jun 5, 2012 11:28 AM

    coal miner for 20+ years.. at least 3 major concussions, four disks removed in my neck, bad back, hands & feet constantly numb, etc etc…
    WHO CAN I SUE!!!
    no sympathy here.. I traded my body to provide for my family.. at a fraction of the standard that NFL players enjoyed..

  8. joetoronto says: Jun 5, 2012 11:35 AM

    krycek84 says:
    Jun 5, 2012 11:12 AM
    Today, players knows risk about concussion and after-effects but how many Bradys, Johnsons, Harrisons, Lewis quit ?

    None, only roster camp players.
    I think it would have been the same thing with former players, as long they get paycheks, they will continue to play
    ***************************************************
    That’s a hell of a point, and one I’m sure the NFL will use in court.

  9. spartan822 says: Jun 5, 2012 12:13 PM

    elmobad says: Jun 5, 2012 11:28 AM

    coal miner for 20+ years.. at least 3 major concussions, four disks removed in my neck, bad back, hands & feet constantly numb, etc etc…
    WHO CAN I SUE!!!
    no sympathy here.. I traded my body to provide for my family.. at a fraction of the standard that NFL players enjoyed..
    ————
    The NFL players back in the 60s and 70s weren’t paid any more than a guy like you. They all had second jobs during the offseason because the pay wasn’t great. Their average life expectancy is much shorter than the general population. The NFL made a ton of money off of their legacies, the least they can do is pay all their medical bills and compensate them for their bruised and battered bodies.

    But I can understand you not having sympathy for modern era players. They make a ton of money and they are much more aware of the effects of concussions. I don’t have any sympathy for them either.

  10. chiadam says: Jun 5, 2012 12:31 PM

    This may sound a little tinfoil helmet-ish, but I think there is a 50/50 chance that these suits will bring down the NFL. For good. We’re talking about 2,200 plaintiffs. If they win (and if one suit is successful, they all will be), not even the mighty NFL can absorb that financial hit. Not to mention all the sponsors that will run for the hills, or the parents that will yank kids out of football. I don’t think it’s likely, but I know it’s possible.

  11. EJ says: Jun 5, 2012 12:46 PM

    Why doesn’t the NFL have the whole league wear the -Mark Kelso- helmet? The helmet was padded with an extra inch of protection, and I believe that Kelso never had another issue after changing it. How about in NFL?

  12. dublindemonszfl says: Jun 5, 2012 1:02 PM

    Batman wears a rubber helmet, works for him.

  13. jpietrefesa says: Jun 5, 2012 1:13 PM

    Its your own responsibility to know the effects of concussions. These guys want to blame everyone else for their issues its ridiculous. Do computer programmers sue the software company they worked for because they have carpal tunnel syndrome?

  14. CKL says: Jun 5, 2012 1:20 PM

    Speaking of evidence, I want to know what specific evidence does he feel is widely known now, was out there while he was playing, and was concealed by the NFL that would have changed his mind.

  15. tinbender2000 says: Jun 5, 2012 1:24 PM

    303bengalguy says:
    Jun 5, 2012 10:54 AM
    Second thought… why do helmets have to have a hard crown? Can’t they move to a resin or rubberized outter shell at this point? I know it can be done. Wouldn’t that seriously help here?

    They used to have a system like that, and it worked pretty good. It was a highly technological space age product called Leather.

  16. amaf21 says: Jun 5, 2012 1:53 PM

    Is this the reason this scumbag beats women? Best thing to ever happen to him was Sean Taylor spitting in his face. Can’t think of anyone who deserved it more at the time.

  17. thraiderskin says: Jun 5, 2012 2:12 PM

    Its a money grab… pure and simple

  18. granadafan says: Jun 5, 2012 2:14 PM

    If only the NFL had thrown a bone to the former players during the last lockout negotiations then ex-players wouldn’t have had this bright idea to sue en masse over concussions. The NFL is like a lottery ticket to many.

    The coal mining companies don’t have billions, hence there’s no one to sue.

    Suing, that’s the new American way. *shakes head softly*

  19. source7769 says: Jun 5, 2012 2:28 PM

    padding the outside of the helmet takes away 95% of the chance of concussion , but 95% of the sounds of the nfl are the helmets colliding producing “great” audio hence the reason why is has yet to be done

  20. yousuxxors says: Jun 5, 2012 5:29 PM

    coal companies do have billions.

  21. jgedgar70 says: Jun 6, 2012 9:35 AM

    69finfan says:
    Jun 5, 2012 11:12 AM

    On another note no matter what helmets are made of, no matter how they are designed there is no way to completely protect against concussions. There is no way to completely stop the brain from hitting the inside of the skull in a violent collision and an abrubt stop which in it’s simplest form is what causes concussions.
    ______

    I disagree. It is this same thing – the brain hitting the inside of the skull in a violent collision and an abrupt stop – that killed Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500. Eventually NASCAR installed at all tracks a new barrier whose primary component is foam rubber (I’m being simplistic for the sake of brevity; there are obviously other important components of the barriers). The barrier was designed at the University of Nebraska to defuse the energy in a car-wall collision. Let’s get those scientists at Nebraska working on a similar product to include in helmets to dissipate the energy in a helmet-to-anything collision, so the game can remain largely unchanged but the players better protected.

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