This new master complaint joins together more than 80 lawsuits previously filed by former players. The 86-page lawsuit will be filed shortly at U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
“The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL sought to mislead players has no merit,” the National Football League said in a prepared statement.
The ex-players complain that precautions against brain injury have only been implemented in recent years, and that players from years gone by were exposed to long-term neurological injuries as a result of repeated impacts. They say that many players frequently returned to play prematurely after suffering concussions.
Joining the lawsuits “will allow the thousands of former NFL players and their families to finally hold the league accountable for its misconduct,” the plaintiffs said in a release.
Among those suing the NFL is Mary Ann Easterling, widow of Ray Easterling, 62, a former Atlanta Falcons safety who committed suicide in April after suffering from what she suspected was dementia, as well as depression and insomnia.
Also part of the lawsuit is Kevin Turner, 42, a former Philadelphia Eagles running back who says he suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which he says was caused by injuries sustained while playing professional football.