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#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

New lawsuit alleges NFL knew about CTE for decades

Roger Goodell

Is it possible the National Football League was aware of and made efforts to conceal chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for decades? A recently filed lawsuit alleges exactly that.

A lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania state court by the estate of Adrian Robinson Jr., a former NFL linebacker who committed suicide in 2015 and was later determined to have suffered from CTE, claims the league and helmet maker Riddell were aware of the neurological brain disorder associated with concussions and worked to suppress information regarding it.

Buried within the dense 97 pages of documents are bold accusations of a league-wide “conspiracy” and “sham-science” used to “advance self-serving conclusions.” The suit also claims there was a “concerted effort that deprioritized human life in the face of profit oft-analogized to the strategies of ‘Big Tobacco.'”

The complaint claims there has been knowledge of what we now call CTE dating back to the year 1928 when the Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study and determined there was a “scientifically observable link between repetitive exposures to head trauma and long-term, latent, brain disease.”

Additionally, the suit pinpointed other such studies from 1952, the 1960s, the 1970s and all the way up until today. It also referenced the legal recognition of CTE from a 1966 court case involving Korean War veterans.

Pulling no punches, the complaint continues with allegations of an ongoing conspiracy and cover-up designed to insulate the NFL from exactly these type of lawsuits.

The suit also takes aim at the NFL-established Mild-Traumatic Brain Injury committee (MTBI), claiming the group has falsified information and other CTE findings.

“The NFL’s negligence allowed the MTBI Committee to use falsified industry-funded research to mislead the medical community and the general public on the risks associated with repetitive head impacts.”

In 2015, a federal judge approved a class-action lawsuit settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players to help pay for their ongoing medical needs as the result of brain trauma sustained during their professional football careers. The settlement was later revised and exceeded $1 billion.


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