CBS News Washington is reporting that Former Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien is the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit filed by 126 former NFL players, which alleges the NFL hid information about the harmful long-term effects of head injuries.
According to the report, the lawsuit, which was filed U.S. district court in Pennsylvania last Friday(March 23), claims that the NFL misinformed and misled the players in regards to the consequences of head injuries, including significant brain damage.
More specifically, Rypien and his fellow plaintiffs — a few of which included two former first-round picks in the NFL Draft—quarterback Todd Marinovich, by the Oakland Raiders; and lineman Tony Mandarich, by the Green Bay Packers — are seeking reparations as they still battle “various neurological conditions and symptoms related to the multiple head traumas.”
“It’s scary the extent to which these guys have been hurt,” said Gene Locks, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney told the Washington Times. “When we played football, broken bones, busted noses, tears of tissue were kind of expected. Nobody said you’d get a head injury. These injuries are insidious, they are latent, degenerative, and it gets worse and worse as you get older in certain players.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said repeatedly that his goal is to lower the risk of head injuries in the league. He has handed out hefty fines and suspended players for helmet-to-helmet hits over the last several seasons.
Most recently, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended for a one year without pay for his part in the team’s bounty program, which rewarded players for hard hits on the opposition. The team was also forced to surrender two draft picks.
“The game doesn’t need to be played this way,” Goodell said on NFL Network after Payton’s suspension was made public. “We think that while it is a strong message, it’s an important one to send — that we need to protect our players.”
Including Mark Rypien’s class-action suit, website NFLConcussionLitigation.com points that a total of 51 lawsuits have been filed against the NFL. Five of the 51 cases where wrongful-death suits.