Sun, Dec 25, 2011 - Page 20 News List

NFL: Ex-players sue NFL in Florida over injuries

Reuters, Washington

Nearly two dozen former National Football League (NFL) players have sued the NFL in Miami, the latest in a string of lawsuits brought by athletes over health problems they blame on concussions they suffered long ago on the field.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers -offensive lineman Leon Searcy and 20 other players, most of whom live in Florida, are asking for unspecified damages for brain injuries they say have left them facing medical problems years after their careers ended.

“Specialists in brain trauma have been warning about the risks of permanent brain damage for -decades,” the ex-players claimed in a lawsuit filed on Thursday in federal court in Miami.

“The NFL — as the organizer and purveyor of a professional sport in which head trauma is a regular and repeated occurrence — was aware of these risks, but deliberately ignored and concealed them,” the lawsuit claimed.

The Miami lawsuit follows a similar one filed this week in Atlanta, Georgia, by four former players, including two Pro Bowl players, Dorsey Levens and Jamal Lewis.

Each lawsuit alleges the NFL did not do enough to protect -players from concussions.

“Rather than warn its players that they risked permanent brain injury if they returned to play too soon after sustaining a concussion, the NFL actively deceived players, resulting in the players’ belief that concussions did not present serious, life-altering risks,” the Miami lawsuit states.

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