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Adams v. NFL

Adams v. NFL

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Published by Paul Anderson

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Published by: Paul Anderson on Feb 13, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/16/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTEASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
George W. Adams, Michelle L. Adams,Solomon E. Brannan, Jr., Delores J. Brannan,James Cheyunski, Patricia A. Cheyunski,Ernest G. Gibson, Barbara Gibson, DavidHoward, Jacqueline R. Howard, Hassan Jones,D’Artagnan Martin, Michael C. McCoy, JanetBrown McCoy, Curtis McGriff, MaurieMorris, Frank Middleton, James Mueller, MaryC. Mueller, Patrick Shea, Marguerite Shea, Noland Smith, Gloria Jean Smith, James J.Snowden, Joelle M. Snowden, Thomas R.Vaughn, Cynthia J. Vaughn, Byron Williams,Beverly Williams, John Wojciechowski, andSheryl D. Wojciechowski,Plaintiffs,v. National Football League and NFL Properties,LLC,Defendants.Case No. ________________________ 
COMPLAINTJURY TRIAL DEMANDED
Case 2:12-cv-00683-AB Document 1 Filed 02/08/12 Page 1 of 39
 
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Plaintiffs, by and through their attorneys, for this Complaint against Defendants the National Football League and NFL Properties, LLC, named above hereby allege as follows:
INTRODUCTION
1.
 
In 2002, Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist and neuropathologist inPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, became the first doctor to identify a brain condition termed “ChronicTraumatic Encephalopathy” or “CTE” in a retired football player. Dr. Omalu discovered thecondition, marked by dark brown protein staining on the brain, when studying the brain of MikeWebster, a National Football League Hall of Famer who died at age 50 after years of severedepression and dementia that had reduced him to homelessness.2.
 
By 2007, Dr. Omalu had identified CTE in the brains of four deceased former  NFL players. He determined the brain damage he found in the players was the same conditionfound in punch-drunk boxers.3.
 
Also in 2007, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the NFL had beenstudying the effects of concussions on its players for “close to 14 years[.]”4.
 
At that time, the NFL unequivocally asserted there was “no evidence of worsening injury or chronic cumulative effects” from multiple concussions and that “many NFL players can be safely allowed to return to play” on the same day of a concussion if they werewithout symptoms and cleared by a (team) physician.5.
 
The NFL’s position was completely contrary to the over 75 years of study andknowledge within the scientific and medical community regarding the diagnosis and treatment of concussions.6.
 
Because the NFL’s position was that football-related concussions were not seriousinjuries and should prevent players from returning to play, its common policy and practice for all
Case 2:12-cv-00683-AB Document 1 Filed 02/08/12 Page 2 of 39
 
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 players, for decades, was to minimize the injury and encourage players to return to play shortlyafter suffering a concussion.7.
 
In June 2010, in the face of mounting pressure, the NFL finally acknowledged thetruth. The NFL finally issued warnings to every team and player stating that concussionssuffered while playing NFL football can lead to CTE and its related symptoms, includingmemory loss, dementia, and death.8.
 
Plaintiffs are retired NFL football players.9.
 
Plaintiffs’ head injuries, and the serious, ongoing health consequences resultingfrom them, were directly caused and exacerbated by the negligence, fraud, and other misconductof the Defendants. Until very recently, Defendants have actively sought to suppress and obscurethe truth about the long-term effect of concussions suffered while practicing and playing footballfor the NFL.10.
 
Defendants’ efforts to obscure the truth about the cause, treatment, andconsequences of football-related concussions caused players who suffered concussions to bemisdiagnosed, to not receive proper treatment, and to continue practicing and playing with thesesevere injuries.11.
 
As a result of Defendants’ misconduct described herein, the Plaintiff retired NFL-football-players and their wives have suffered substantial injury, including economic loss, andinterference with their ability to live a normal life. Defendants are liable for negligence, fraud,and loss of consortium.
Case 2:12-cv-00683-AB Document 1 Filed 02/08/12 Page 3 of 39

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