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April 16, 2013

Players Call NFL Safety Board a “Sham”

Did the NFL conceal the risks of head injuries? Who is responsible to pay for head injuries; the NFL or individual teams? NBC Sports reports the beginning of what is likely to be a long trial process to sort this out.

We’ve blogged about brain injuries that many former NFL players have suffered from years of play. District Judge Brody has to decide if these injuries are workplace safety issues that belong in arbitration. 

Paul Clement, lawyer for the NFL, insists that the “teams bear the chief responsibility for health and safety under the players’ collective bargaining agreement, along with the players and their union.” This would deflect any blame away from the league.

However, the players’ lawyer David Frederick says the NFL has been concealing the risks of brain trauma. While the NFL established a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, Frederick says “It set up a sham committee designed to get information about neurological risks, but in fact spread misinformation.”

The decision of Judge Brody is the first step on what is likely to be many years of litigation. In the meantime, 4000 cases and billions of dollars hang in the balance.

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