Recently, we told you about the lawsuit that over 2,000 former NFL players filed against the league due to the severe brain injuries they suffered in their glory days. Like the cases filed against tobacco companies nearly 15 years ago, attorneys representing these ex-players are stating that the NFL knew about the dangers of concussions and severe blows to the head but chose to hide this information. After all, it’s pretty hard to expect a quarterback to keep playing if you tell him the dangers of getting sacked each week.
Nonetheless, the NFL has a duty to inform its players of the potential dangers they face on the job. At the heart of this matter is whether or not the NFL found a football-related link between head trauma and permanent brain injury. A lawyer for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit compared the NFL’s negligence to that of the cigarette companies.
"The NFL took a page right out of the tobacco industry playbook and engaged in a campaign of fraud and deception, ignoring the risks of traumatic brain injuries in football and deliberately spreading false information to its players," said Sol Weiss.
The attorneys representing these players are likely hoping for a similar outcome. According to chron.com, a groundbreaking settlement of $206 billion was awarded to plaintiffs in 46 states.
While the NFL continues to deny the concussion-brain injury connection, researchers recently studied a group of ex-NFL players. According to Maureen Salamon of healthday.com, over 40 percent of these players suffer from neurological disorders such as dementia and depression. What’s disturbing is that the median age for this group of players is 62, which further proves the long-lasting effects that traumatic head injuries have on football players. If you feel that you have suffered any of the followinge symptoms even though you’ve been off the gridiron for many years, please seek medical attention immediately:
- learning difficulties
- difficulty concentrating
- impaired judgment
- personality changes, including impulsive or aggressive behavior or outbursts
- problems with organization
- restlessness/difficulty sleeping.
Researchers at the University of Texas’ Center for Brain and Health believe there is a connection between football-related head trauma and various neurological impairments in later stages of life.
"We picked up that many guys were depressed but didn't know it," said Dr. John Hart, study author and medical science director at the center. "The cognitive impairments . . . were more than what's expected for their ages."
Having an updated record of your injuries and the treatment you’ve received can help establish a medical history concerning the progression of your injuries.