Columbia’s Strom Law Firm has sued the National Football League in U.S. District Court in South Carolina on behalf of five former players who accuse the league of deliberately concealing scientific evidence that linked repeated concussions to extensive brain damage.
“This lawsuit is all about player safety and player health,” said Bakari Sellers of the firm. “For those players who have retired from the game, it’s our hope that they will have the opportunity to live healthy lives and no longer have to worry about how they’re going to deal with their debilitating neurological issues. The NFL did not disclose to these players the neurological risks that come with repetitive head trauma and has since begun to make the changes necessary to put player safety first.”
The players — Stephen Davis (Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins) along with his wife Dee Dee Davis, Corey Miller (NY Giants, Minnesota Vikings), Langston Moore (Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals), Travis Williams (Atlanta Falcons), and Henry Taylor (Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins) – accuse the NFL of dragging its feet over the past 16 years, misleading players as to the effects of repeated concussions and concealing evidence linking dementia and other cognitive disorders to brain injuries.
As an example, the players point to the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (“MTBI”) Committee launched in 1994 — headed by Dr. Elliot Pellman, a rheumatologist with training in the treatment of joints and muscles, not head injuries, and his replacements, Drs. Ira Casson and David Viano, who allegedly dismissed outside studies and evidence linking head injuries to ongoing neurological problems.
The complaint — which states claims for negligence, fraud, misrepresentation, and loss of consortium on behalf of player’s spouses and seeks damages, including punitives – will now join more than 80 player lawsuits consolidated in a master complaint filed in June, as reported by the Associated Press. The master complaint is pending before U.S. Senior District Judge Anita Brody in Pennsylvania.
Thousands of players, spouses and other relatives are plaintiffs in those suits and are seeking to hold the league responsible for the ongoing care of those affected with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other similar disorders as well as for ongoing monitoring of those concerned about developing those conditions.
Davis, Miller and Taylor now reside in South Carolina.
Sellers says his firm plans on filing additional complaints on behalf of former players before the end of the month.