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Duerson's family sues over death

CHICAGO — The family of former Bears player Dave Duerson filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL on Thursday, saying the league didn't do enough to prevent or treat the concussions that severely damaged his brain before he killed himself last year.

The suit was filed on behalf of Duerson's son, Tregg, and three other children. Duerson died Feb. 17, 2011, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest at his home in Sunny Isles Beach. He was 50. Duerson's family wants to know more about the NFL's handling of concussions during his career, Tregg said at a news conference.

"If they knowingly failed to inform and implement proper safety concussion procedures, then their indifference was the epitome of injustice. The inactions of the past inevitably led to the demise and death of my father," he said.

The suit accuses the NFL of negligently causing the brain damage that led Duerson to take kill himself by not warning him of the negative effects of concussions.

The NFL said in a statement that it had not seen the suit.

"Dave Duerson was an outstanding football player and citizen who made so many positive contributions but unfortunately encountered serious personal challenges later in his life," the NFL said. "We sympathize with the Duerson family and continue to be saddened by this tragedy."

The suit also names helmet maker Riddell Inc., alleging the helmets didn't adequately protect from concussions. The company declined to comment.

The suit was filed less than a week after nearly a dozen former players in Louisiana sued the NFL over their concussions.

Duerson had at least 10 concussions in his career, his family said. He left notes for his family asking that his brain be donated to science, and researchers at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University's School of Medicine concluded he had "moderately advanced" brain damage and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative brain disease found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma.

broncos: Coach John Fox said his two quarterbacks aren't feuding. Brady Quinn apologized Wednesday for being quoted in a GQ article as saying Tim Tebow's success last season had a lot to do with luck and he didn't think Tebow was too humble about demonstrating his faith. Said Fox, "Sometimes this gets lost in translation, but I know their relationship is very good, and they are good teammates."

dolphins: Miami fans want the team to acquire quarterback Peyton Manning, and they're using a billboard and website,, to campaign. The site is advertised on a billboard at the intersection of Interstate 95 and I-595 in Fort Lauderdale. It encourages fans to fill out a form on the site urging the Dolphins to bring Manning to Miami. Said GM Jeff Ireland of the campaign, "(Fans) can do what they want."

eagles: Quarterback Trent Edwards, who hasn't played in the league since 2010, agreed on a one-year contract. Edwards, 28, is expected to be Michael Vick's backup, a role held by Vince Young last year.

Jets: Coach Rex Ryan said "it was obviously a huge mistake" to guarantee at last year's combine that his team would win the Super Bowl in February. "Coming off (appearances in) two championship games, I really thought it would be a thing that would actually motivate our team. … In hindsight, I think it put undue pressure on our team, and … we lost focus on what we do best," Ryan said.

packers: Tight end Jermichael Finley, set to become a free agent, signed a two-year deal to stay with the team. No terms were announced.

Steelers: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger restructured his contract so the team can save about $8 million in 2012 cap space. He was scheduled to make $11.6 million this year. This is the second time in six months he has reworked the eight-year, $102 million deal he signed in 2008.

Duerson's family sues over death 02/23/12 [Last modified: Thursday, February 23, 2012 11:00pm]
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