Former NFL players Gregory Westbrooks and Christian Ballard filed a lawsuit yesterday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The pair of players is suing the NFL Players Association for failing to provide the correct information concerning the chance of head injuries. Both athletes claim the union “withheld information from the players about the risks of head injuries.”
The two former NFL players are asking for financial remuneration for long-term chronic injuries and medical monitoring. They are also seeking expenses, financial losses as well as intangible losses. The lawsuit specifically refers to the “pathological and debilitating effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by concussive and sub-concussive impacts.”
The suit also states: “Defendants have been aware of the evidence linking repetitive TBI to long-term neurological problems and the risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries for decades but they deliberately ignored, failed to warn, and actively concealed the information from plaintiffs, others who participated in organized football at all levels, and the general public.”
Westbrooks and Ballard cited former NFL Players Association presidents Trace Armstrong, Kevin Mawae and Troy Vincent in the lawsuit. A statement from the NFLPA said: “This lawsuit has no merit and we will defend our union and our past presidents. It erroneously alleges that the NFLPA knowingly and fraudulently concealed from players the risks of head injuries players faced by playing in NFL games and practices over the last several decades.”
The statement also noted: “The NFLPA has made the health and safety of its members a priority and the advancements in professional football on concussion education, prevention and treatment are a result of our efforts.”
Former 2011 and 2012 Vikings defensive end left the team last September. Interestingly, he is currently being represented by the NFL Players Association in a complaint approximately $240,000 in 2013 salary that he was paid but the Vikings are mow attempting to recover. Westbrooks was a special teamer and linebacker for four different teams over portions of seven NFL seasons.