Published December 23, 2011
Nearly two-dozen former NFL players are suing the league over severe and permanent brain damage they say is linked to concussions suffered on the job.
One lawsuit was filed Thursday in Miami on behalf of ex-Miami Dolphins team members Patrick Surtain, Oronde Gadsden and 19 other NFL players. Most now live in Florida. It accuses the National Football League of deliberately omitting or concealing evidence linking concussions and long-term neurological problems.
The NFL denied the charges and said player safety has long been a priority.
The former players are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.
The complaint follows a similar one filed earlier this week in Atlanta.
Dorsey Levens and Jamal Lewis, both named to the annual All-Star Pro Bowl, as well as Fulton Kuykendall and Ryan Stewart, filed the lawsuit against the National Football League and NFL Properties LLC on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
The Atlanta suit alleges the NFL knew as early as the 1920s of the potential for concussions but only made them public in 2010.
"Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit," the NFL said in a statement on Thursday.
"It stands in contrast to the league's actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions."
About 10 federal lawsuits have been filed against the NFL by former players and some have been merged into class actions. A panel of federal judges will meet on January 26 in Miami to decide whether to consolidate the lawsuits into a single case.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this article.