Matt Schobel files concussion suit

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The NFL’s concussion lawsuit epidemic continues to grow.  Former NFL tight end Matt Schobel has filed a civil complaint against the NFL in Texas, according to  Schobel played for the Bengals and Eagles.

The allegations in this single-plaintiff lawsuit echo the other pending concussion lawsuits.  Schobel claims that the NFL knew or should have known about the long-term health effects of concussions, that the NFL understated and/or concealed the evidence, and that the NFL failed to take steps aimed at warning or protecting players from concussions.

Meanwhile, the former player who filed the first concussion lawsuit against the league, Ray Easterling, reportedly has committed suicide, according to  His claims against the league could be converted to a wrongful death action, similar to the suit filed by the estate of Dave Duerson against the NFL.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at the concussion litigation — the claims, the defenses, the status of the lawsuits, and all other relevant issues.  Most NFL fans don’t care about the situation, but all should.  Though it’s more than a bit unrealistic to suggest these claims could result in the extinction of the NFL, the lessons learned by the NFL (and concerns regarding future litigation) could continue to push the league toward safety measures that will potentially change the way the game is played in a manner that alienates some fans.

24 responses to “Matt Schobel files concussion suit

  1. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. My heart goes out to the surviving loved ones. The players who played before the 1993 CBA never made near the money that is paid today, and the pensions are meager, compared to what a player today can expect. Common sense tells you that a collision sport has inherant risks, however, the league, and the players union should all be on board with increased pension payments for long ago players who have little or nothing, along with medical insurance to cover all costs. The moneys there. Todays players, post 1993, should have a portion of the TV money put aside for care in the later years, but any lump payment is ludacris. They knew that guys got knocked out. It happened to me in H.S. I can’t imagine how much harder it is in the NFL.

  2. people are jst jumpin on the train looking for money. everyone knows football is a dangerous sport. man up!!! Most of you made more money then they would have ever made playing football!!! Now you want more?? GTFOH!!!!

  3. “…could continue to push the league toward safety measures that will potentially change the way the game is played in a manner that alienates some fans”

    The started doing that last season.

    Getting dangerously close to flag football now.

  4. And yet people still complain about the league turning into “flag football.”

  5. …are these idiots also gonna sue their pop warner, middle-school, high school, and college associations? Perhaps if they’d have listened to their mamas, they wouldn’t be in this mess – whoda thunk that playing a sport wearing a hard shell helmet could have even remotely led to a situation which could result in even the smallest head injury? I think we should find the guys that were holding the guns to their heads while they were signing those contracts…

  6. Isn’t it time we stopped blaming the league and the owners?

    It’s obvious that the players … and their greasy lawyers … are driving this.

    Money … it’s nothing more than a cynical grab for cash.

  7. I agree it’s a money grab, a volatile mix of greed, deep pockets of money, lawyers, and a small amount of truth. And. Oh yeah, lawyers.

  8. the only thing i would take issue with is the notion that most nfl fans don’t care about the concussion/litigation/safety issue. i think most fans are tuned in to the issue and have a strong – or at least sorta strong – opinion.

  9. While I feel sorry that individuals are experiencing a medial condition. If you can’t put 2 and 2 together and figure out the profession YOU choose to participate in could have repercussions down the road. Then you are very short sighted.

    It’s like me joining the US Army and suing the US Gov for getting shot over Afghanistan.

    Here is an idea, lets figure a player can absorb 4 concussions in a career and have only a 5% chance of a permanent medical condition. Once you are ruled to have reached that limit, you must retire. After every game you must pass a test to show you have not received a concision. If you are not ready to take responsibility for your own future well being, then you have some screwed up values in your life.

  10. This is a product of a society that allows people not to be accountable for their action.

  11. The bell tolls for Football. No one sees any money in this effort. Bankruptcy and private leagues are coming.

    Soon this will turn to hockey and soccer. Maybe we can all become like the “boy in the bubble”. Nothing bad happens in the bubble.

    All the mining, petroleum exploration, fire fighters, police officers, military people feel badly for this incredibly inconvenienced lot.

    Most of these guys would be destitute without football, from day one.

    Oh well. Time to find a new hobby.

  12. Concussions ARE part of the game, but I don’t think 30-40 years ago they had an idea of long term results. Major insurance coverage should be a part of EVERY contract Eli, we are gonna give 16 mil, but out of that your long term insurance coverage is gonna be 125,000.00 right off the top no exceptions, waivers or options. Period.

    See, that’s where the problem is, 10-30 year AFTER theironey making days. Certainly, the guys back in the 50s thru 1999 are left empty handed. Long term coverage should be mandatory from day one. Bar none. Pension funds should be the next priority. It’s gonna come outa THEIR esrnings. Problem solved. Goodell needs to make it MANDATORY. Every player, every year. Pensions should be based on wage, contribution and years. Plain enough

  13. There were three 5,000 yard passers in the NFL this year alone. Something that had only happened once in the history of the league.

    QB’s are not better than they used to be, the game just simply comes easier to them, because of the new rules installed to make a dangerous game “safer”.

    I’m not interested in seeing offenses move up and down the field, with defenses being handcuffed from stopping them. Nobody wants to see games like the recent pro bowl, with little to no defense at all.

    The NFL needs to find a way to solve its safety issues without dramatically changing its product. Because without interested fans, there will be no NFL for players to sue.

  14. The NFL/NFLPA stiffed the retired vets with the health care and pension plans that they sought. Something at least Al Davis was very much for, but apparently the rest of the owners don’t want to fork out in gratitude to the players who played for them. Stories of Al Davis’ generosity in paying for players and their families, when he never had to, are well-known.

    These lawsuits are just the retired players getting back at the NFL/owners. Their threat could ‘kill’ the NFL as we know it. A rival league emerging with contractual clauses indemnifying risk of injury or long-term effects of concussions. Not sure why the NFL never went that path instead of the “fine players for face-masking/etc” route.

  15. these lawsuits are ridiculous, as a 20-30 something year old adult you should not need your employer to tell you that concussions are bad or dangerous to your health. That is something that you hear from a very young age by parents, teachers and coaches. I am sure all if not most have had concussions at the high school and college level but there is no money to be had there so lets go after the nfl who paid them millions. These are guys who think they are invincible, above the law and in many cases not responsable for their actions. Hence the hundreds of father-less children they leave with no child support after filing bankruptcy. As if its someone elses fault they were never taught about condoms or financial advisors either. give me a break prima donnas

  16. No one at my job told me that if I type too long and stare at my monitor too long that I could get RSS or Carpal Tunnel or damage my eyes. But guess what? I still know that thats a possibility. The pay is good for what I do, so I keep doing it.

    Take a little responsibility for yourself. I used to really like Matt Schobel, but if you think that getting multiple concussions is NOT a long term medical issue waiting to happen, then maybe you’ve already taken too many blows to the head. C’mon now.

  17. Florio,

    I liken this issue to that of a smoker suing a tobacco company for health problems caused by smoking. As much as the league could have or should have known the risks of playing players with concussions, the player chose to play despite the inherent risks of injuries. Plus, the player has an equal obligation to study the risks associated with playing injured as long as those risks and studies regarding them are publicly available.

    I feel that legally they should not be entitled to money from damages, particularly punitive damages. I feel that compensatory damages may be reasonable, as it is reasonable for a company to provide long term compensation (via insurance, law, or contractual obligation) to employees injured or disabled due to on the job injury.

    The right thing to do is to retroactively pay medical bills for players who suffered post playing injuries. Agree to a retroactive pension for all retirees who meet certain criteria and agree to lifelong medical insurance and pensions for all current players. The money should be provided from both the players and owners pool of league income as a percentage consistent with the revenue sharing as defined in the current CBA. Force all of the suits into class action and settle the case once and for all, including a provision preventing future suits of the same nature.

    I’m not a lawyer and I know there are countless legal issues inherent in my solution, but from a practical and moral standpoint I believe it is common sense to take care of players injured due to playing in the past and create an economically feasible solution to take care of current players in the future. Without punishing the league for playing the players prior to the current science being discovered.

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