NFL faces new concussion case in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (AP) The estate of NFL Hall of Famer Mike Webster and dozens of former players suing the league over concussion injuries agreed Friday to pause their lawsuit to see if it will join other similar cases being reviewed by a federal judge for settlement.
Webster’s estate and 65 former players and their families sued the NFL in February, claiming the league hid information about the seriousness of concussions and head injuries sustained during their playing careers.
Attorneys for the NFL and the plaintiffs filed a stipulation Friday to stay the case to see if it should join other concussion lawsuits currently assigned to a judge in Pennsylvania. Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody is considering whether a $765 million settlement is enough to resolve all claims against the NFL for players who are dealing with dementia and other serious cognitive conditions caused by concussions sustained during their pro careers.
Webster, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for most of his career, was instrumental in four of the team’s Super Bowl victories in the 1970s. He died in 2002.
Six of the players included in the case are deceased, including Steelers offensive linemen Terry Long and Justin Strzelczyk.
The NFL declined to comment on the case.
The lawsuit, like others filed against the NFL, claims the league hid evidence of the long-term damage players faced due to concussions and did not provide players with proper helmets. The players are also suing helmet-maker Riddell Inc. on claims that its helmets did not adequately protect players and that the company didn’t warn players of the dangers of concussions.
Riddell declined comment, citing a policy not to issue statements on pending lawsuits.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP