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March 28th, 2012

Former Redskins Quarterback Leads Latest Class-Action Blitz against NFL

In a previous Hellholes post, Will Concussion Lawsuits Sack the NFL?, we discussed the potential impact that concussion lawsuits may have on the NFL.  On March 23, 2012, former Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien became the lead plaintiff in the latest class-action lawsuit against the League.  In the pleading, the class alleges long-term health damage from repeated head injuries, injuries that occurred when the class members voluntarily chose to play a sport with an inherent significant risk of physical injury.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Rypien is one of 127 former players making up the class. 

Current NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that lowering the risk of head injuries in the l is a top priority.  He has handed out hefty fines and suspensions for illegal hits, and several rules changes have been enacted in the interest of improved safety.  Encouragingly, the number of concussions decreased by 40% last season, but it would be largely impossible to completely prevent such injuries in an inherently violent sport.

Bear in mind, none of the plaintiffs was ever forced agsinst his will to play football professionally.  And many earned handsome salaries doing so.  Thus these selfish lawsuits seem rather absurd and, if “successful,” could well lead to the league’s financial demise, denying tomorrow’s athletes the same the chance today’s plaintiffs had to take calculated risks for considerable rewards.

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