Former Super Bowl winning quarterback Mark Rypien has been named a leading plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit over head injuries against the NFL. In total there are 126 former NFL players named as plaintiffs in the case filed last Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The players claim in the suit that the NFL knew of the risks associated with repeated traumatic brain injury’s years ago but hid the information from players, which has led to permanent health issues and neurological disorders.
“It’s scary the extent to which these guys have been hurt,” said Gene Locks, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney. “When we played football, broken bones, busted noses, tears of tissue were kind of expected. Nobody said you’d get a head injury. These injuries are insidious, they are latent, degenerative, and it gets worse and worse as you get older in certain players.”
Paperwork filed in the suit says that Rypien himself, as do many of the other plaintiffs, they “suffers from various neurological conditions and symptoms related to the multiple head traumas.”
A spokesman for the NFL released a statement on Tuesday in response to the suit:
“The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit. It stands in contrast to the league’s actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions.”