Former Players Sue NFL Over Brain Injuries

Three ex-athletes want league to monitor all ex-players

By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 21, 2011 4:04 PM CST

(Newser) – Three retired football players are suing the NFL because they say they got banged up so much in their playing days it left them with brain injuries. They want the league to set up a program to monitor the problem among all former players, reports Bloomberg. The three former athletes—Harry Jacobs, Jerome Barkum, and Tommy Mason—each suffer from brain injuries caused by frequent tackles during their careers, according to the federal lawsuit. They're also seeking unspecified personal-injury compensation.

The three men argue that the NFL is responsible because it knew or should have known what toll the brutal collisions would take on players in retirement. A spokesman for the league responded via e-mail: "The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit.”

San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith (94) recovers a fumble by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith (94) recovers a fumble by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith (30) is stopped for no gain on fourth down by the Oakland Raiders.
Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith (30) is stopped for no gain on fourth down by the Oakland Raiders.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco rolls over after being sacked.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco rolls over after being sacked.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
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