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Ex-Players Sue NFL Over Brain Injuries
Date:6/7/2012

THURSDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- The National Football League hid information that linked football-related head injuries to permanent brain damage, according to a massive lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday by lawyers for former players and their families, the Associated Press reported.

The "master complaint," filed in Philadelphia, consolidates 81 pending lawsuits by plaintiffs who want the NFL held responsible for the care of players suffering from neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, the news service reported.

The 81 lawsuits include 2,138 players who accuse the NFL of not doing enough to inform them about the dangers of head injuries. The total number of plaintiffs in the lawsuits is 3,356 and includes players, spouses and other relatives or representatives, the AP said.

One of the plaintiffs is Mary Ann Easterling, whose husband was former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling. He committed suicide in April at age 62 after suffering from undiagnosed dementia for many years and was often angry, volatile and acted out of character, the news service reported.

The NFL has no idea what the families of affected players have to endure, Mary Ann Easterling told the AP.

"I wish I could sit down with [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] and share with him the pain. It's not just the spouses, it's the kids, too," she said. "Kids don't understand why Dad is angry all the time."

The long list of former players connected to concussion lawsuits includes the family of Dave Duerson, who shot himself in 2011, and Jim McMahon, Duerson's teammate on the 1985 Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears, the AP said.

"The NFL, like the sport of boxing, was aware of the health risks associated with repetitive blows producing sub-concussive and concussive results and the fact that some members of the NFL player population were at significant risk of d
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