Posted on October 11, 2012 · Posted in Brain Injury

Want some fascinating reading?

Then look at the timeline on the website for the multi-district litigation that more than 3,000 ex-NFL players have filed against the league.

The timeline starts in 1928 , showing the results of medical studies that even back then link concussions and permanent brain damage — and then what action the NFL took, or failed to take.

From 1928 to 1991, there were various studies chronicling the impact of head injuries on boxers and football players. Over those many decades, the NFL did not respond to any of this research.

Back in 1937, the American Football Coaches Association had already declared “that concussed football players should leave the game for personal attention,” according to the timeline. The NFL did nothing.

In 1952 the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that said that football players should exit the sport after three concussions. The NFL did nothing.

In 1973 the phenomenon called Second-Impact Syndrome was discovered. It basically means that after one concussion, another concussion can cause death when the brain dramatically swells. The NFL did nothing.

In 1991 the NCCA put forth guidelines for head injuries for all sports. The NFL did nothing.

It isn’t until 1991 that the NFL took any action regarding head injuries. according to the timeline. In that year, it formed the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee to look at the effect of TBIs on players. But from 2002 to 2010, the committee and the league denied there was any link between concussions and permanent brain damage, even though various studies came to the exact opposite conclusion.

It is a pretty damning timeline, I’d say.

The National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation (MDL #2323) is now pending before Judge Anita Brody in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The suit charges that the NFL “deliberately and fraudulently concealed from its players the link between football-related head impacts and long-term neurological injuries.”

The NFL denies these allegations.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447