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Suit Claims NFL Hid Knowledge of Harmful Effects of Concussions

Posted Jul 21, 2011 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Seventy-five former pro football players claim in a lawsuit that the National Football League covered up information about the harmful effects of concussions.

The suit claims the NFL knew of problems since the 1920s, but concealed the facts, TMZ reports. It wasn’t until 2010 that the NFL acknowledged concussions can lead to dementia, memory loss and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the suit says. ESPN and the Associated Press also have stories.

The suit alleges fraud, negligence and failure to warn. It also names helmet manufacturer Riddell as a defendant.

An NFL spokesman says the league will vigorously contest the claims.

Slate looked at possible causes of action and possible defenses in a February story. One issue: whether the players' collective bargaining agreement will send the claim to arbitration. The League may also try to defeat fraud claims by arguing the players did not reasonably rely on the NFL's representations, and may contest any link between concussions and players' ailments.

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