|11-16-2012, 02:39 PM||#1|
First Team All Pro
Join Date: Jul 2004
NFL Retirement Board Paid $2M To Ex-Players While League Denied Concussion Risks
According to documents obtained in a joint investigation by PBS' FRONTLINE program and ESPN's "Outside the Lines", the National Football Leagues' retirement board awarded at least $2 million in disability payments to at least three former players after reaching the conclusion that football was the cause of their brain injuries.
In 1999, the retirement board determined that the late Mike Webster, a Hall of Famer who played 17 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Pittsburgh Steelers before finishing his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, was "totally and permanently" disabled due to repeated blows to the head he received as an active player. Webster passed away in 2002 at age 50 and was the first former player to be diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy after donating his brain for research.
Bob Fitzsimmons, Webster's attorney in that disability case and the current co-director of the Brain Injury Research Institute, believes the conclusions reached by the retirement board to be the "smoking gun" in current lawsuits against the league.
"It's pretty devastating evidence," said Fitzsimmons. "If the NFL takes the position that they didn't know or weren't armed with evidence that concussions can cause total disability permanent disability, permanent brain injury in 1999, that evidence trumps anything they say."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello emphasized in an email that the retirement board is independent, and that its decisions are not made by the NFL or by the NFL Players Association.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
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