LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Three former professional football players from the Southland are among 75 players named in a lawsuit filed against the National Football League over allegations that league officials withheld information about the impact of concussions suffered on the playing field.
Plaintiffs listed in the 81-page negligence/products liability/fraud suit include 1983 NFL Rookie of the Year Vernon Maxwell, Compton-born and former Chicago Bears defensive back Mike Richardson, and Los Angeles-resident Duane Galloway, a former Detroit Lions cornerback.
Richardson, 50, was a member of the Super Bowl-winning Bears team in 1986 and took part in the Super Bowl Shuffle video, suffers from multiple traumatic brain injuries, according to the suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Helmet maker Riddell Sports Group Inc. also is a defendant, as is its parent company, Van Nuys-based Easton-Bell Sports Inc.
The lawsuit alleges the NFL was aware as early as the 1920s of the harmful effects of concussions on a player’s brain, but concealed the findings from “coaches, trainers, players, and the public” until June 2010.
“Plaintiffs did not know the long-term effects of concussions and relied on the NFL and the
Riddell defendants to protect them,” the suit alleges.
“We will vigorously contest any claims of this kind,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.