On Monday, 142 retired NFL players filed a lawsuit in federal court in Fort Lauderdale against NFL teams and the League. The purpose of the suit is to require the NFL to recognize CTE (in living players) as an occupational hazard, and thereby allow former players to file workers’ compensation claims against the NFL.
Tim Howard, the lawyer for the plaintiffs said "The workers' compensation relief that plaintiffs are seeking will be based upon their claims that they have now become permanently and totally disabled by CTE as a result of repeated traumatic head injuries that were, in fact, sustained while they acted in the capacity of employees for the defendant." He went on to say that"The intentional delay in diagnosis and treatment of living CTE and repeated head trauma causes avoidable injury and death. Justice requires that the NFL be held accountable for this occupational hazard."
The lawsuit could help players who may not qualify for financial help under the terms of the proposed NFL Concussion Settlement, which is currently under appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Retired NFL wide receiver Tony Gaiter, the lead plaintiff in the case, told reporters Monday that he has been diagnosed with CTE. Gaiter, who played for the Patriots and the Chargers, said he is unable to work. "I'm depressed more than anything," Gaiter said at Monday’s press conference. "I'm just getting by, man."
Here is a newscast regarding the new lawsuit.
Here are some of the retired players included as plaintiffs in this new lawsuit:
Tony Gaiter; Sedrick Irvin; Kevin Harris; Lawrence Jones; Shevin Smith; Santonio Thomas; Warren Williams; Henri Crockett; Jamie Nails; Leon Searcy; Marquis Johnson; Larry Webster; Corey Fuller; Mike Finn; Ernest Givins; Ben Coleman; Dedrick Dodge; Damon Gibson; Michael Gaines; Warren Williams; Dexter Carter; Shockmain Davis; Tracy Scroggins; Darryl Ashmore; Victor Floyd; Corey Simon; Kelvin Kight; Tony Bryant; Albert Bentley; Tobiath Myles; William Floyd; Chidi Ahanotu; Quinn Gray; Charlie Clemons; Wally Williams; Jeffery Hunter; Anthony Fieldings; Dwan Epps; and James Johnson.
If the plaintiffs succeed, they could qualify for 500 weeks of pay that would amount to millions of dollars each.