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Ex-players sue NFL over concussion treatment

A group of 75 retired NFL players sued the league in a California court Tuesday, alleging that NFL teams' mismanagement of their concussions, and the league's willful concealment of evidence of the long-term effects of head injuries, led to the players' current brain damage.

The suit, filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles, is the first legal action to center on how the NFL, while evidence mounted in medical journals and elsewhere, took until 2010 to unequivocally warn players that concussions could affect brain function long after they retired.

The suit contends that the league failed "to regulate practices, games, equipment and medical care so as to minimize the long-term risks associated with concussive brain injuries." It took particular aim at how the NFL's medical committee on concussions, formed in 1994, published a steady string of studies claiming that concussions had no long-term effects on professional football players.

The plaintiffs include many players who were active in the 1980s, including Mark Duper, a Dolphins receiver; and Ottis Anderson, a running back for the Cardinals and Giants.

The players claim that they suffered multiple concussions that were improperly diagnosed by team medical personnel, leading to short-term memory loss, headaches, vision problems and other ailments. The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages above the jurisdictional minimum of $25,000.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league "will vigorously contest any claims of this kind."

Riddell, the helmet manufacturer named as a co-defendant, would not comment.

Jenkins retires: Former Jets and Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins announced his retirement after his last two seasons were cut short by serious knee injuries. Jenkins, released by New York in February, posted on his Facebook page that he is "going to hang up the cleats!" Jenkins, who turns 32 on Aug. 3, had said when he was cut that he still wanted to play. "The mind is always willing to play, but my body deserves the rest," Jenkins wrote.

Obituary: Myra Kraft, the wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a philanthropist dedicated to numerous causes, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. She was 68. Mrs. Kraft managed the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation and was president of the Patriots Charitable Foundation.

Moldy Metrodome: Metrodome owners say the artificial turf contains bacteria and mold because of the water that leaked into the Vikings stadium after its roof collapsed in December. Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission chairman Ted Mondale says insurance will cover the cost of replacing the turf, estimated at more than $500,000.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said the new stadium plan presented this year by the team and Ramsey County was "incomplete and unsatisfactory." The $1.1 billion suburban project is slated for Arden Hills, but Dayton says a bill was not ready to be brought forward in the state budget discussions.

McMahon hurt: Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon tore ligaments in his foot and suffered trauma to his head, neck and back after the limousine taking him from Lake Tahoe to a Nevada airport crashed through a fence and into a drainage ditch. His girlfriend, Lori Navon, suffered a concussion, and the driver was also treated at a hospital and released.

Vick endorsement: Eagles quarterback Michael Vick became an equity partner in Double Eagle Holdings, Ltd., and will endorse Fuse Science and its line of sports nutrition vitamins.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Ex-players sue NFL over concussion treatment 07/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:46pm]
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