Ken Stabler leads new 73-player concussion lawsuit

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At least 22 Hall of Famers have filed concussion lawsuits against the NFL.  A guy who arguably should be in the Hall of Fame is joining the fray.

Former NFL quarterback Ken Stabler’s name leads the latest concussion lawsuit, filed on behalf of 74 former players.

The lawsuit, filed July 23, names the NFL and NFL Properties as defendants.

The complaint contains detailed claims regarding the league’s handling of concussions and allegedly reluctant acknowledgement of the realities of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy, focusing on the October 2009 Congressional hearing as the moment at which the NFL’s tune changed.

The complaint, filed in federal court in Philadelphia, also mentions on on-field incidents occurring after 2009, such as the Kevin Kolb/Stewart Bradley concussions from Week One of the 2010 season and the Austin Collie concussions of 2010, along with the league’s failure to ban “recidivist violators” like Steelers linebacker James Harrison from the game.

The action requests various legal “declarations” regarding the NFL’s responsibility for head injuries, court-ordered “medical monitoring” of injuries arising from head trauma, and compensatory and punitive damages for negligence and fraud.

The plaintiffs include former Vikings safety Joey Browner, former Dolphins receiver Mark Clayton, former AFL and NFL quarterback Babe Parilli, and former offensive lineman Ross Verba.

If Stabler ultimately secures any financial compensation, he likely won’t be keeping it.  He owes the IRS more than $265,000.

28 responses to “Ken Stabler leads new 73-player concussion lawsuit

  1. We are fast approaching the point where we have more former players suing than ever played.

  2. Kenny Stabler is a drunk that needs money to fuel his drunk driving habit.

    If you’re ever near the beach on the Gulf Coast you could probably see him swerving on the road.

  3. this is getting ridiculous!! most of these players are looking for compensation because they feel they are owed money because of how popular the game is today

  4. What does it mean that his name “leads”? Is it a separate lawsuit from all the others?

    Or are you just saying that his name is the most recognizable of this group? Is Bruce Smith in this group?

  5. So, the league is sued by players who are banned for violent conduct and by their colleagues who claim it failed to ban the same players. Oh sue-happy America.

  6. These guys just think they deserve more money cause they didn’t make as much as these guys are making now days and they are probably all in debt this is getting rediculous.

  7. Do not mean to sound callous… looks like a lot of guys want to win the lottery and not have to buy a ticket…

  8. The Snake needs the money to pay for his court fee’s, the DWI’s are racking up and getting expensive.

    Ever watch Kenny play? He was supported by maybe the greatest O-Line in football. He didn’t even move, he just stood there. He played behind players like Jim Otto, Dave Dalby, Art Shell, Gene Upshaw, and John Vella.

    For Stabler to place his name on a concussion suit is a joke, and for him to be at the top of the list is just sad.

  9. If they were so, so, so concerned about their health they should have chosen to play baseball. Secondly, none of them took themselves out of games when they felt dizzy from a hit. Hand them pink dresses, a six of MD 20-20 and boot them out the door.

  10. First off, I feel badly for the players who have been affected but these various injuries. Seeing the McMahon interview was difficult to watch. But it showed me that these guys, who seem like super humans when they play…often come crashing back down to earth. It makes the decisions that certain players make, like Barry Sanders, seem very smart.

    I however would like to understand, in these lawsuits, how many of the players are under financial struggles compared to those that have been a bit smarter with their money. I recognize that the players who have had the worst of injuries, of course will be broke based on paying for ongoing medical care. But I also have a hunch that many that only have headaches or aches and pains, are also broke and looking for an easy dollar.

    I feel badly for all parties. I feel bad for the older players who did sacrifice themselves for the game. But they didn’t do it JUST for the game. They got paid a handsome salary, even at that time. Yes, it wasn’t the crazy millions these players get now. But the league wasn’t what it is now either. It wasn’t a multi-billion dollar league.

    I also feel badly for the NFL. I think they created this problem to a large degree. Ex-players have been asking the NFL to do more for years now. If a decade ago, they had negotiated the CBA to offer better medical care to ex-players, different programs to keep them active, higher pension funds rates. Lets face it, both the current players and owners could have afforded to make these concessions. IF they had done that then…how many of these guys would feel loyalty to the league, for doing the “right thing” back then. I bet a large majority would take the current benefits and shut their mouths. But instead, those players see a league making more money than ever. And when ex-players ask for anything, much of which they probably deserve, the league gives them lip-service. So now they are angry, and in pain…and looking for a little retribution.

  11. It is very easy for all of the arm chair QB’s, or O-Linemen, DB’s and WR’s for that matter, to come here and say, “they are money hungry, they knew the risks, they were paid more money in a year than I make in a lifetime”, etc., but the fact of the matter is that concussions and the long term effect of repeated concussions have a major impact on the lives of these players. The NFL knew about the long term effect of concussions and has done nothing (except made up a “bounty” story during this off-season) to address this issue.

    The concussion lawsuits will bankrupt the NFL and Roger Goodell will be the person who will be at fault. He could have gotten out in front of this issue years ago, he could established a fund to fairly compensate former players, he could have instituted better and more thorough safety measures, he could have banned ALL helmet to helmet contact. Instead, he has been the ringmaster of a deceive the media plan during this off-season and a fool.

    Thank you Roger Goodell……for ending the NFL.

  12. Goodell hasn’t been the commish all that long so it goes way back before goodell and I don’t think he made the bounty stuff up there is plenty of evidence an the fact they were told to stop and didn’t the saints deserve it all!

  13. God forbid one of these lawsuits is ever successful. Football as we know it might be over forever.

    In fact, that cow may have already left the barn.

  14. douglamply says: Jul 25, 2012 10:22 AM

    What does it mean that his name “leads”? Is it a separate lawsuit from all the others?

    Or are you just saying that his name is the most recognizable of this group? Is Bruce Smith in this group?


    It just means they put his name as the lead plantiff because he was the most recognizable name. Someone has to be the lead plantiff in the suit. Then they call it Stabler v. NFL. Instead Stabler, etc, etc, etc v. NFL. Just a procedural matter.

    As far as the other suits, they are separate, and Florio or someone with legal expertise can explain how and why, but the point is in the end it will all be one class action suit. With all the players who have filed lumped into one big suit.

  15. How can people have such strong opinions already? I didn’t know any evidence had been released in this matter. Someone files a suit and you just say he’s wrong, before you know any details? If this is a frivolous lawsuit like most of you commenting are saying, then you have nothing to worry about. Because it will be dismissed before it even begins. Believe it or not these are real people, with real problems, not a slab of bologna to be sliced up and served out for your entertainment. People have this misnomer that because they pay for entertainment, that they own a piece of the entertainer. It’s just not so…and anyway a great deal of NFL fans pay nothing for the entertainment. They don’t go to games, they don’t buy merchandise, and they watch the games on free TV.

  16. The key to these lawsuits will be to determine when the NFL and its Physicians learned about the dangers of repeated concussions and what was done when it was discovered. I hate to say it, but some of these former players are going to be omitted from any monetary awards should they be paid. Just because they played before the technology was developed to determine if they had a concussion and its severity.

  17. This is why the US is failing. You get paid extra to do dangerous jobs even if you’re dumb as a box of rocks.

    Your choice.

    Now it’s your choice but if you didn’t like your choice it’s time to sue whoever you can.

  18. It would be interesting to see an estimate on how much of the problems are caused by someone playing too soon after a concussion. I think that is where the NFL is at fault, and most susceptible in a lawsuit – pretty clearly the norm was to put players back before they should have been. The players are clearly to blame for the decision to continue careers after having had a significant number of concussions.

  19. Wait a minute. Kenny Stabler … a guy who teamed with Matuszak, Jack Tatum, and Ted Hendricks–among the most brutal players of their time–has joined a lawsuit targeting the league’s “failure to ban ‘recidivist violators'”? If the league had banned recidivist violators, the 70s Raiders couldn’t have fielded a team. Stabler … come on, man!

    Having said that, someone put this guy in the Hall of Fame.

  20. Well said, @darthsaint. You hit the nail on the head. For the past few years, former players have been asking for more help from the NFL, which flat out refused and essentially told them to beat it. Even during last year’s lockout, the former players tried to be a part of the negotiations but the NFL and NFLPA both refused.

    Now, the former players have found a new way for the NFL to formally take notice and pay attention. It’s sad that it took a lawsuit. Most players are genuinely hurting, but some are just taking advantage of the lawsuits because they’re broke.

  21. Honestly I think concussions is just a scapegoat. The real problem is the transition from being an NFL player, to just being “just a guy”.

    Suddenly you have to spend your time working for a job that may very well pay only 1-2% of what you made playing football. Because of that change you now need to transition quickly to living within your means or you will end up broke in a hurry

    You also don’t have your days 100% planned out from you like you did playing football. So now you have to take on that responsibility yourself.

    You get old. Even if you retired relatively injury free, the little dings of when you were 25 are daily aches and pains when you are 50. Because it hurts to workout, you probably stop exercising and perhaps even start abusing alcohol.

    Then all of the above can lead to depression.

    I think these are legit issues that need addressing, and this lawsuit is frankly bunk for probably 95%+ of those involved. When Al Toon joins the suit let me know. Right now it’s like a guy who burns himself out and quits at a startup. The startup later goes public and he sues because they didn’t tell him to not work so hard. Where has personal responsibility gone?

  22. silverdeer says: Jul 25, 2012 12:40 PM

    The key to these lawsuits will be to determine when the NFL and its Physicians learned about the dangers of repeated concussions and what was done when it was discovered. I hate to say it, but some of these former players are going to be omitted from any monetary awards should they be paid. Just because they played before the technology was developed to determine if they had a concussion and its severity.


    Very good points. Especially about the older players possibly not being able to be given an award. It’s a good question for Florio. I’m thinking that what would happen in that instance is once it becomes a class action suit, the judge would determine a cutoff date for participating in the suit. Meaning you had to play in the NFL between this date and that date, etc, etc. But I would bet a really good attorney could find a why to tie them in. My first thought is the league had a responsibility to disclose the info to former players too. And they may have created a liability by not informing former players of the dangers they had been exposed to once they did find out. Also I’m sure the argument will come up that this is why the NFL has always held the strong positions against health benefits for players already retired. This opens up a case for punitive damages. One last point. The NFL didn’t need the medical community to tell them about the link between head trauma and CTE and other disorders. THat’s not the date when they will be held responsible if they are indeed held responsible. The NFL would be the first to realize it. The question is when did mass numbers of players start reporting back to the NFL that they were suffering a host of life altering symptoms and were being told by DRs that it was most likely repeated head trauma causing it. That’s when the NFL had the responsibility to commission studies or do a host of other things to find out what was going on and how to protect players from it. That’s negligence. I’m guessing that they were probably finding out about this as early as the 1970s or before. There had to be a glowing sign that said…look at all these ex players who have neurological problems after football. Do you think it might have anything to do with us sending them out to play 5 minutes after they can’t tell me who they are or where they are at. Well at least until I put the salts under his nose they can’t. That’s the thing that makes me think the NFL has no way out of this. The evidence of the links between repeated head trauma and later neurological disorders should’ve been self-evident. Meaning there presence alone was sufficient proof to warrant action. Think about it teams have commissioned studies on the effects of artificial grass on injuries, and many other things. But they’ve never commissioned a study on the effects of repeated head trauma, and multiple concussions within small time frames.

  23. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a proven fact. Yes, some of the players may join the lawsuit because they were careless with their money. But I suspect most actually do have serious neurological issues.

    The NFL, NCAA, and every other football organization should pray a test for CTE is developed that allows players to be tested while alive.

    Once that test is developed its going to be game over..Football will go the way of boxing; largely irrelevant as a major sport.

  24. @turdfurgerson68 …

    I agree with most of your post, but much more than CTE contributed to the decline of boxing as a major sport. Football doesn’t need to suffer the same irrelevance. The development of new helmet technologies can minimize and perhaps even prevent traumatic brain injuries in this sport. It will be expensive–but considering the profits on the line, the benefit is worth the cost.

  25. @Deb…

    Sorry to be the one to burst your “new helmet technologies can minimize and perhaps even prevent traumatic brain injuries” bubble…almost all experts on the subject agree that no new helmet technology will ever reduce the risk because of the cumulative effect (lotta little blows over time).

    The Boxing reference is apt: once the colleges start doing away with their programs because of contributory negligence issues, pro football will wither away over a period of yrs.

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