NFL Concussion Litigation: Plantiffs’ Numbers Continue to Grow

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, the children of retired NFL Quarterback Rudy Bukich joined the ongoing litigation against the NFL and Riddell Inc., alleging that the league and the helmet manufacturer were aware of the dangers of football but failed to take steps to mitigate it.

Rudy Bukich, now 85 years old, played for four NFL teams during the years of 1953 through 1968. The plaintiffs allege the following in their complaint:

Rudy Bukich has suffered extreme long-term brain damage, has advanced dementia, is kept alive with comfort care but does not recognize any of his children nor can he communicate with them, is nonresponsive to any verbal stimuli, and is not expected to survive much longer.

They also claim that despite the fact that the extent of the dangerousness of repeated head trauma wasn’t known until the 2000s, the NFL had long been aware that it posed some threat.

This lawsuit comes four years after the multidistrict litigation began when the family of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson sued the NFL and Riddell in the wake of Duerson’s suicide.

In April, a U.S. District Judge approved an uncapped settlement between the NFL and representatives of a class of approximately 5,000 former players claiming damages from these injuries. Several of those players were not satisfied however, and have since appealed to the Third Circuit.

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