A huge legend in football recently added his name to the increasing list of players who are suing the National Football League over allegations that players were intentionally misled about the potential dangers of concussions and continuous injuries to the brain. According to a report by CNN, Dan Marino filed suit in a Philadelphia court last week. Fourteen other former players are also named in the legal complaint. Marino, who is 52-years-old, retired from the league in 1999 as a quarterback, following 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. The article calls him a “durable quarterback,” starting in 99 consecutive games at one point in his career. In 2005, he was inducted into the pro Football Hall of Fame.
The lawsuit alleges that, though NFL executives were knowledgeable about the effect of concussions on long term health and well-being, information about the risk was not provided to players. Each of the complaints included a written statement from the players, acknowledging that they suffer from a brain injury and briefly discussing some of the health related effects. While Marino’s complaint does not list any specific injuries, it requests that the court award unspecified monetary damages, along with continuous monitoring of his health.
The Concussion Lawsuits
The original lawsuits against the league were filed by 4,500 players and estates of deceased players. A settlement agreement was reached in April of last year, for a $765 million compensation account, funded by the league’s team owners. According to Sports Illustrated, the compensation amount would result in a payment of about $30 million by each owner, which reportedly accounts for about 10 percent of average team revenue in 2010. Under the settlement agreement, all current and former players have the option of being tested for care and compensation from the fund. Many analysts saw the settlement as a financial win for the owners. According to reports, they would likely pay substantially more if the lawsuit goes to trial. In January 2014, a federal judge refused to approve the settlement agreement, on grounds that the compensation amount was likely inadequate to address the total number of injuries.
Sports Concussions Debated in the Media
Public debates exemplify the vast difference in opinion about the seriousness of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The discourse does not stop with the NFL. Concussions within high school and youth sports have also come under scrutiny regarding the seriousness of repeated concussions. Medical and sociological studies consistently allege connections between TBIs and socialization skills among children. There is also evidence that these injuries can have long term effects on the cognitive functions of the brain. According to the CNN article, members of the NFL lawsuit suffer from various brain related conditions, including dementia, Parkinson’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Some of the lawsuit members reportedly see Marino’s participation as a positive development, providing a more positive perception to the goal of the litigation and the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries.
If you or your child has suffered from the effects of a traumatic brain injury, contact the experienced brain injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti for a free consultation.
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