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Family of Junior Seau Files Wrongful Death Suit Vs. NFL

Junior Seau
Elsa, Getty Images

The family of the late Junior Seau has filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL Wednesday, alleging that the trauma the 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker suffered while playing in the league caused a brain disease that led him to commit suicide in May 2012.

The lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday at the California Superior Court in San Diego, claims the NFL deliberately hid the dangers of consistent blows to the head from its players. The suit said that Seau, 43 at the time of his death, developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition found in other players who have committed suicide after their playing careers.

Helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc. was also named in the suit for being “negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets” used by NFL players.

A statement from the NFL said the league is reviewing the claims and will respond through the court. According to the AP, more than 3,800 former players have sued the league over head injuries.

A star for most of his 20-year career, Seau retired in 2009. His family claimed he suffered through depression, mood swings and other conditions prior to his death. Gina Seau, Junior’s ex-wife; Junior’s children Tyler, Sydney, Jake and Hunter, and Bette Hoffman, trustee of Seau’s estate, were listed as plaintiffs on the suit.

“We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior. But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations,” the family said in a statement to the Associated Press.

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