The family of the Late, Great Linebacker, Junior Seau filed suit in state Court in San Diego California against the National Football League and Riddell, the manufacturer of the helmet worn by NFL players. The theory being advanced in the suit is that the NFL had superior knowledge and information about the damage being done to the player’s brains by the repetitive, cumulative hits to the head.
Seau was autopsied and found to have Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy as a result of all the hits he took in his 20 year plus career. It is alleged that this condition was responsible for his suicide. The suit alleges more than just simple negligence, it alleges that the NFL as an organization knew the harm which was being inflicted on players and did nothing except further market the ‘ferocity’ of the sport for financial gain.
Players have agents to negotiate salaries and financial issues but not for issues like this. The NFL owes its players the truth and some long term programs to make the game safer and the helmets must be made to provide protection so that our future players will not suffer from debilitating injuries just by playing the game.
Head and catastrophic brain injuries devastate cognitive abilities but the body flourishes. Your body may live to be old but your cognitive awareness fades and you live the remainder of your years in a state of dementia. Our football players deserve more than that and if the NFL and the team owners won’t change the game, the Courts will step up and mandate it.
If you look back at recent history in our industrial age, lawyers have been on the forefront of making our products safer, our workplaces safer, our automobiles safer and it continues on. The law is a lot more than just reacting to injuries, it is about making our society a safer place to live but creating accountability in our manufacturing and business communities.