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 NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up

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PostSubject: NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up   Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:27 am

NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up
"They ... trusted the league ... and the league failed them miserably." THE NFL & CONCUSSIONS
Sunday, February 12, 2012
By Jonathan Tamari, Philadelphia Inquirer


Before the rules that made kickoffs safer, before NFL guidelines about sitting players who have suffered concussions, before "defenseless receiver" became a part of the Sunday conversation, offensive lineman Mike Schad remembers getting knocked unconscious while blocking as part of the wedge for the Los Angeles Rams' kick-return team.

"Before they made all those changes, I got ear-holed," said Schad, who would go on to play with the Eagles from 1989-1993. "Next thing you know, I'm sitting on the sideline."

Two days later, Schad was back in practice, using his head to help fend off defensive linemen, a technique his coaches had taught, he said. There was no talk of concussions or long-term consequences.

But as Schad saw two former Eagles teammates die young, he grew concerned. Safety Andre Waters killed himself at age 44; guard Tom McHale, Schad's backup one season in Philadelphia, died of a drug overdose at 45 after becoming addicted. Each was later diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease in athletes with a history of brain trauma. It can lead to memory loss, confusion, aggression, depression and dementia.

Seeing what happened to his teammates, Schad said recently, "I'm worried about my future. I'm worried about what's happened. I'm 48."

Schad is one of an estimated hundreds of former players suing the NFL, saying the league failed to provide them proper information about the risks of concussions, downplayed the potential problems and lagged behind studies published outside of league circles.

"They relied on the league, trusted the league to know when it was healthy for them to play, and the league failed them miserably," said Craig Mitnick, a Haddonfield, N.J.-based attorney who is part of a team representing Schad and other former Eagles, including linebackers Seth Joyner and Jeremiah Trotter, whose suit was filed Friday. It follows as many as 20 similar suits that have been filed around the country, including one that includes former Pitt and Dallas Cowboys star Tony Dorsett.



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12043/1209684-66.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml#ixzz1mAq2uLTW

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PostSubject: Re: NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up   Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:00 am

If you want to be depressed, here's an article that discusses the posibility of the end of the NFL due to liability suits:

What Would the End of Football Look Like?

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The NFL is done for the year, but it is not pure fantasy to suggest that it may be done for good in the not-too-distant future. How might such a doomsday scenario play out and what would be the economic and social consequences?

By now we're all familiar with the growing phenomenon of head injuries and cognitive problems among football players, even at the high school level. In 2009, Malcolm Gladwell asked whether football might someday come to an end, a concern seconded recently by Jonah Lehrer.

Before you say that football is far too big to ever disappear, consider the history: If you look at the stocks in the Fortune 500 from 1983, for example, 40 percent of those companies no longer exist. The original version of Napster no longer exists, largely because of lawsuits. No matter how well a business matches economic conditions at one point in time, it's not a lock to be a leader in the future, and that is true for the NFL too. Sports are not immune to these pressures. In the first half of the 20th century, the three big sports were baseball, boxing, and horse racing, and today only one of those is still a marquee attraction.

The most plausible route to the death of football starts with liability suits.1 Precollegiate football is already sustaining 90,000 or more concussions each year. If ex-players start winning judgments, insurance companies might cease to insure colleges and high schools against football-related lawsuits. Coaches, team physicians, and referees would become increasingly nervous about their financial exposure in our litigious society. If you are coaching a high school football team, or refereeing a game as a volunteer, it is sobering to think that you could be hit with a $2 million lawsuit at any point in time. A lot of people will see it as easier to just stay away. More and more modern parents will keep their kids out of playing football, and there tends to be a "contagion effect" with such decisions; once some parents have second thoughts, many others follow suit. We have seen such domino effects with the risks of smoking or driving without seatbelts, two unsafe practices that were common in the 1960s but are much rarer today. The end result is that the NFL's feeder system would dry up and advertisers and networks would shy away from associating with the league, owing to adverse publicity and some chance of being named as co-defendants in future lawsuits.

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This slow death march could easily take 10 to 15 years. Imagine the timeline. A couple more college players — or worse, high schoolers — commit suicide with autopsies showing CTE. A jury makes a huge award of $20 million to a family. A class-action suit shapes up with real legs, the NFL keeps changing its rules, but it turns out that less than concussion levels of constant head contact still produce CTE. Technological solutions (new helmets, pads) are tried and they fail to solve the problem. Soon high schools decide it isn't worth it. The Ivy League quits football, then California shuts down its participation, busting up the Pac-12. Then the Big Ten calls it quits, followed by the East Coast schools. Now it's mainly a regional sport in the southeast and Texas/Oklahoma. The socioeconomic picture of a football player becomes more homogeneous: poor, weak home life, poorly educated. Ford and Chevy pull their advertising, as does IBM and eventually the beer companies.

There's a lot less money in the sport, and at first it's "the next hockey" and then it's "the next rugby," and finally the franchises start to shutter.

Along the way, you would have an NFL with much lower talent levels, less training, and probably greater player representation from poorer countries, where the demand for money is higher and the demand for safety is lower. Finally, the NFL is marginalized as less-dangerous sports gobble up its market share. People — American people — might actually start calling "soccer" by the moniker of "football."

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PostSubject: Re: NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up   Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:19 am

It's OK. Goodell is killing the sport of professional football as we know it anyway.

We just need to enjoy it while we still can.

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PostSubject: Re: NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up   Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:45 pm

See...this is something that I just don't "get"

I am all for player safety, but don't these guys realize that football is a dangerous sport? It like a smoker suing the tobacco company for having lung cancer.

Bet the lawyers are loving this.
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PostSubject: Re: NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up   Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:03 pm

I'm going to sue Burger King for making me fat

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Wallace108: Jon, how the hell do you expect any of us to ever follow your posts? You always set the bar awfully high.  

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PostSubject: Re: NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up   Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:18 pm

@JonM229 wrote:
I'm going to sue Burger King for making me fat


I'm suing Axe Body Spray for making me dangerously irresistible to women.

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PostSubject: Re: NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up   Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:45 pm

@Buddha Bus wrote:
I'm suing Axe Body Spray for making me dangerously irresistible to women.

I'm pretty sure your case will be thrown out when they find out you needed a whole case of the stuff.


pwned!

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Wallace108: Jon, how the hell do you expect any of us to ever follow your posts? You always set the bar awfully high.  

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PostSubject: Re: NFL players' concussion lawsuits pile up   Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:47 pm

@JonM229 wrote:
@Buddha Bus wrote:
I'm suing Axe Body Spray for making me dangerously irresistible to women.

I'm pretty sure your case will be thrown out when they find out you needed a whole case of the stuff.


pwned!


Oh yeah?!? Well.... Ray Lewis is a murderer!


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