Former NFL Players have joined concussion lawsuits against the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) including former Chiefs Vaughn Booker, Tamarick Vanover, Kevin Williams, Neil Smith and Joe Horn. The NFLPA withheld information regarding the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries and failed to protect its players. The NFLPA, through its representatives and agents, assured players that it would protect their best interests and owed to its members a fiduciary duty.
Other Former Players who have joined the lawsuits include:
- Ladell Betts;
- Ron Dugans;
- Sheddrick Gurley;
- Chad Johnson;
- Kendyll Pope;
- Corey Sawyer;
- Shevin Smith;
- Tarlos Thomas;
- Christian Ballard; and
- Gregory Westbrooks
"We believe that the most important resource in the NFL is the players, and the most essential part of the player's body is the brain. Considering the millions of dollars received as dues from NFLPA members, the NFLPA did not do enough to protect its members from traumatic brain injury."
- Keven Regan, an attorney for the former NFL Players
As pointed out in the suit, DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA, said to Congress in 2009 that "for far too long, our former players were left adrift (and) we were complicit in the lack of leadership and accountability but that ends now." At further hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, Smith testified "there is simply no justification for the NFL to have previously ignored or discredited" the body of research available to that point.
The suits allege, "At all times, the NFLPA has had unparalleled access to and knowledge of data relating to the relationship between head impacts on football players and cognitive decline. This access to and knowledge of data comes from the NFLPA's awareness of the growing body of scientific literature on the subject, its own medical consultants, its own requested or commissioned studies on the subject, its participation in the Retirement Board of the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan ("Retirement Board"), and its participation in the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee (the "MTBI Committee")."
The suit also argues that rather than informing the players of the results regarding nervous system disorders, the NFLPA instead deliberately concealed the results of the studies that had been commissioned for the players' protection. The NFLPA supplied false and misleading information regarding the risk of harm and engaged in a long-running course of fraudulent and negligent conduct, according to the argument from the legal team.
Together this group of attorneys is fighting for this group of NFL alumni. Lawyer Kevin E. J. Regan has been trying jury trials for over 30 years, and has won major verdicts in various state and federal jurisdictions. He has represented many professional athletes in all professional sports in high profile matters throughout the country, and has a proven track record of successful litigation in support of his clients in the National Football League and has represented National Football League players for over 25 years. He is also co-founder, along with Derrick Thomas, of the award winning Derrick Thomas/Neil Smith Third and Long Foundation, which ministers to the reading needs of inner city children.
With over 20 years in experience, Yonke Law has represented victims and their families who have been catastrophically injured or killed due to the negligence of corporations throughout the United States. The firm has litigated cases from Florida to California and many states in between. Shaffer Lombardo Shurin has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for its clients in cases against major defendants in the financial services industry including investment banks, international accounting firms and life and annuity companies. And from its offices in Kansas City, Lexington (MO), Saint Louis, and Chicago, Langdon & Emison has earned a national reputation across a full array of personal injury litigation wrongful death and class action matters. Bob Langdon and Kent Emison have each been inducted as Fellows in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Together, this consortium of lawyers represents coast-to-coast experience in some of the most sophisticated matters in plaintiff's litigation.
Together the four firms of The Regan Law Firm, Shaffer Lombardo Shurin, Langdon & Emison and Yonke Law LLC continue to accept additional plaintiffs in related personal injury lawsuits related to professional football injuries. To learn more about this body of litigation, you can visit the group's website at http://www.NFLInjuryLawsuits.com.