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Massive Master Complaint Filed Against NFL Over Concussion-Related Injuries

The 86-page document, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, seeks financial compensation, injunctive relief and medical monitoring for former NFL players who claim the league misled them about the dangers of concussions.

June 7, 2012
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A master complaint was filed in a Philadelphia federal court June 7 on behalf of hundreds of former professional football players who are suing the National Football League and others over concussion-related injuries.

The 86-page document, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, seeks financial compensation, injunctive relief and medical monitoring for former NFL players who claim the league misled them about the dangers of concussions. The athletes say they suffer from various neurological and cognitive problems related to head injuries they received while playing football for the league.

Defendants in the suit include the NFL, football helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc. and affiliated entities of those two businesses.

The complaint seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against the NFL for wrongful death, fraudulent concealment of concussion risks, fraud, negligence and other claims. Claims against Riddell in the complaint include negligence and liability for design and manufacturing defects.

More than 2,000 players are represented in more than 80 concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL, according to a statement issued Thursday by lead counsels for the plaintiffs. The cases were consolidated into multidistrict litigation in Philadelphia this year.

The NFL is expected to use a workers' compensation exclusive remedy defense in the liability lawsuits. The league contends that it did not mislead players about the risks associated with playing football.

Sheena Harrison writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

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