By Paul D. Anderson
Over the past two years I’ve closely followed the concussion litigation against the NFL. During this time, I became friends with several former players. Their harrowing stories shared a common theme: brains damaged by lies and deception.
I purposefully refrained from taking an active role in the litigation because I believed the players’ interests were adequately represented. I figured the players would be fighting the NFL for the next several years through a long and drawn out discovery process that would eventually uncover the truth.
To my surprise, the NFL and players’ attorneys announced a proposed settlement right before the start of the 2013 NFL season. At the time, I thought the deal was fair, but I quickly recognized otherwise.
Scores of players called me, sharing their dissatisfaction with the deal. One player told me bluntly, “What good is monitoring? I already know I’m f***ed up.” That’s tough to counter.
Although the deal is adequate for players suffering from dementia and other “severe” neurological diseases, it falls well short for the thousands of other players that are on the borderline. The deal cannot keep up with the rapid advancements in science. Living players are being clinically diagnosed with CTE (this should have been underway years ago, but for the NFL and Chiefs concerted efforts to conceal the reality of CTE). Simply put, $765 million is not enough to compensate all the players that likely have CTE.
Basically, the NFL is paying a fee to make the lawyers go away – many of them took the bait.
I decided that the fight must go on. The commentator hat is coming off. More work must be done. The public demands the truth and the players deserve justice.
To that end, our legal team (comprised of Ken McClain, Dirk Vandever and myself) filed the first ever brain injury lawsuit against the Kansas City Chiefs. Due to a unique opportunity in the law, Missouri is the only state that allows employees to sue their employers directly for occupational diseases. What’s more, our lawsuit is framed to focus squarely on the years (1987 – 1993) when no collective bargaining agreement was in effect.
Today, Chris Martin, Kevin Porter, Joe Phillips, Louis Cooper and Leonard Griffin took the first step to lead the former players down the path of justice. Many other players that played for the Chiefs or Rams could also benefit. The time is now.
A copy of the lawsuit filed today in Kansas City, Missouri can be found here: Cooper et al v. KC Chiefs.
Call us if you’d like to discuss your rights: 573-528-6478 or 816-836-5050.
Anderson is the editor of Concussion Litigation Reporter and founder and editor of NFL Concussion Litigation (www.nflconcussionlitigation.com)