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NFL sued by former players

Dec. 23, 2011 at 9:06 PM   |   Comments

MIAMI, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A series of lawsuits filed this week have alleged the National Football League intentionally hid the long-term risks of repeated concussions.

The latest of the suits was filed Thursday in Miami after similar action was taken by former players in New York and Atlanta. In the most recent of the suits, 22 former players said the NFL is suffering from a "concussion crisis."

Those involved in the Miami suit include cornerback Patrick Surtain and offensive tackle Kyle Turley.

"Despite clear medical evidence that on-field concussions led directly to brain injuries and frequently had tragic repercussions for its retired players, the NFL failed to protect other players from suffering a similar fate and failed to inform players of the true risks associated with such head trauma," the suit alleged. "Instead, the NFL purposefully misrepresented and/or concealed medical evidence on the issue. While athletes who had suffered concussions in other professional sports were being restricted from returning to play for full games or even seasons, NFL players who had suffered concussions were regularly being returned to play after having suffered a concussion in that same game."

The suit seeks unspecified damages and the players are asking for a jury trial.

Football-related concussions were brought to the forefront again two weeks ago when Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy suffered a severe hit by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison.

McCoy briefly left the contest but returned. The team later admitted McCoy had a concussion and said he was not properly tested on the sidelines because no one realized the severity of the hit. Harrison was suspended for one game.

That incident led the NFL to notify teams this week that a certified trainer will monitor the action at each game to make sure all questionable situations are given proper attention.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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