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Family of Former Football Star Junior Seau Sues NFL
On Wednesday, the family of former San Diego Chargers star, Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year, sued the National Football League claiming that the brain damage suffered by Junior Seau had led him to commit suicide. In the lawsuit filed at the San Diego Superior Court, the Seau family accused NFL of concealing the risks of neurological injury in the sport, from both players and the public.
In a statement, the Seau family said, “We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior … But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations.”
Seau died last May after shooting himself at his home in California.
The lawsuit claims fraud, negligence, and wrongful death, and seeks unspecified damages from helmet makers and the NFL. Independent researchers have confirmed that Seau, 43, suffered from CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain condition diagnose in at least two other former NFL players who also committed suicides.
However, NFL has said that the findings about Seau’s brain, “recognized need for additional research to accelerate a fuller understanding of CTE.” Teams belonging to NFL have already donated a combined $30 million to the National Institute of Health for further research on the problem.
Another lawsuit, consolidating about 80 separate lawsuits and representing at least 2,000 former NFL players has already been filed last year.
While football continues to remain the most watched sports on TV and has an annual $9 billion industry, safety concerns over the game has been increasing. Recently the NFL has tried to make rule changes to increase player safety.
However, the statement of the Seau family observes, “instead of being honest about the dangers and working with both players and the medical community to minimize them, the league repeatedly asserted that professional football players were at no greater risk of brain or neurological injury than the public at large.”