Has the NFL knowingly exposed players to the risk of brain injuries? The lawsuit brought against the NFL by former players will determine how much the NFL knew about the risk of traumatic brain injury and the cumulative effects of TBI in players who have sustained multiple concussions. The NFL has downplayed the data revealed in studies and has relied upon their own experts with sometimes dubious credentials. They have largely ignored the clinical reality faced by players struggling with the cognitive, emotional and behavioral effects of brain injury. Oral arguments in this case began on April 9, 2013 in the United States District Court in Philadelphia both both sides represented by highly skilled attorneys.
In any other industry with the high potential for injury we would have seen aggressive investigations regarding the exposure of workers to a dangerous environment. On a daily basis we are barraged with advertisements on television from personal injury law firms who represent workers exposed to asbestos. Clearly in other industries there is a precedent which allows people who have been injured or effected by exposure on the job to be able to receive compensation for their injuries. Why is football different? Can the NFL hold out that players assumed the risk? Or, is the NFL somehow immune from accepting responsibility?
Michael Kaplen, an attorney who practices in the personal injury area, wrote a strong Op Ed piece in the Huffington Post which addresses the NFL lawsuit which readers of this blog may find relevant. Click here to read Mr. Kaplen’s Op Ed.