The other shoe has dropped in the tragic suicide of ex-NFL player Junior Seau.
His family has filed suit against the league, alleging that brain disease caused by the head injuries he sustained playing led him to kill himself, according to the Associated Press.
Seau’s family filed the lawsuit Wednesday in California Superior Court in San Diego. The action charges that Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, from his head injuries, and claims that the league hid or ignored evidence of the risks of traumatic brain injury, AP reported.
Nearly 4,000 such lawsuits have been filed against the NFL by ex-football players or their survivors on the issue of the long-term impact of concussions.
According to AP, in a statement regarding Seau’s suit the NFL said, “”Our attorneys will review it and respond to the claims appropriately through the court.”
In May Seau, 43, fatally shot himself at his California home. Tests on the brain of this former San Diego linebacker’s brain determined that he had CTE.
The Seau suit has also named helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc., as a defendant, AP reported, alleging that the gear was unsafe.
Seau’s family also gave AP a statement.
“We were saddened to learn that Junior, a loving father and teammate, suffered from CTE,” it said. “While Junior always expected to have aches and pains from his playing days, none of us ever fathomed that he would suffer a debilitating brain disease that would cause him to leave us too soon.
“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 plaintiffs in the litigation are Gina Seau, Junior’s ex-wife; his children Tyler, Sydney, Jake and Hunter, and Bette Hoffman, trustee of his estate.