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NFL players accuse league of lying about impact of concussions

As Los Angeles readers may know, several thousands former NFL players are suing the league for not doing more to combat traumatic brain injuries and concussions. The players accuse the league of spreading misinformation about the impact of brain injuries. This accusation comes as part of a legal dispute between the lawyers representing the players and the NFL over whether the issue should be settled in court or in arbitration.

Attorneys for the former players accused the NFL of hiding information linking brain injuries to neurological problems for years. The players referred to a brain injuries panel created by the league in 1994 as a sham. The players claim that the panel, which was led by a rheumatologist, was only created to make it appear that the league took the problem of traumatic brain injuries seriously.

Over one-third of the league's 12,000 former players have joined the litigation alleging that they experienced serious mental health problems such as dementia, depression, and Alzheimer's disease because the NFL rushed them back onto the field after suffering concussions. Some players, such as former Pro-Bowler Junior Seau, have committed suicide due to these health problems. Others claim to have developed drug and alcohol dependency as a result of these health problems. The lawsuit is an attempt to hold the NFL accountable for contributing to the occurrence of these problems.

Anyone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury from sports may be entitled to financial compensation. Professional athletes may be entitled to worker's compensation benefits from the team or the sports league that benefited from their talents. Athletes affected by a sports concussion or other brain injury should consider talking to an experienced workers' compensation and personal injury attorney to learn about their rights under the law.

Source: MyFoxLa.com, "Ex-players call NFL brain injury panel a 'sham'", Mary Claire Dale, April 9, 2013.

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