July 19, 2011 8:07pm PT by THR staff
NFL Sued by Ex Players Claiming Brain Injury Deceit
With the NFL's four-month lockout likely to come to an end within days, the professional football league now finds in the midst of another PR nightmare.
Seventy-five former players are suing the NFL on the grounds that it intentionally hid the risks of concussions suffered during games for 90 years, TMZ reported.
"The NFL knew as early as the 1920s of the harmful effects on a player's brain of concussions; however, until June of 2010 they concealed these facts from coaches, trainers, players and the public," states the suit, which was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The plaintiffs, all of whom claim the sustained injuries due to multiple concussions on the field, include former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper and former San Francisco Giants running backs Otis Anderson and Rodney Hampton.
In their suit -- which cites fraud, negligence and failure to warn -- they claim a 1994 study commissioned by the NFL, titled NFL Committee on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, and a 2004 report concluded there was "no evidence of worsening injury or chronic cumulative effects" from suffering multiple concussions.
The plaintiffs also argue that the NFL didn't admit until just last year that concussions can cause memory loss, dementia and other health issues.
In addition to the NFL, the suit named NFL helmer manufacturer Riddell as a defendant. The plaintiffs are asking for unspecified damages.
The news comes on the heels of a report in the Washington Post that players' reps are expected to be presented with a nearly completed deal Wednesday that would end the NFL's lockout. If the deal is approved, the lockout could end as soon as this week.