Feb 4, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; General view of the Don Shula award given to Houston Madison high school coach Ray Seals (not pictured) at Super Bowl XLV press conference at the International Conference and Exposition Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Junior Seau's Family Sues NFL for Wrongful Death

The family of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau is suing the NFL for wrongful death due to the horrible condition of his brain due to repeated head trauma over his 20 NFL seasons. The suit was officially filed this morning in Superior Court in San Diego, where Seau committed suicide in May 2012 according to AP reports.

The suit, in part, alleges the NFL committed “acts or omissions” about head trauma and concussions which led ultimately to Seau’s untimely demise.

The family recently revealed that Seau’s brain showed signs of CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

CTE has previously been able to be seen only upon the conclusion of an autopsy, obviously not helping anyone during their own lifetime. However, this blogger has learned that recently it has become possible to find CTE in living people.

A PET scan, or Positron Emission Tomography scan, uses radioactive material in an annihilation reaction to create two high-energy gamma rays which can then be detected very much like an MRI uses. PET scans have higher resolution, however, as the higher energy of the PET scan’s radiation means the human body and skull block or distort far fewer photons, allowing for better scans of the brain.

Seau’s family is also suing Ridell, the manufacturer of the helmets used in the NFL. The family claims Ridell was “negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets.” used by NFL players.

“We were saddened to learn that Junior, a loving father and teammate, suffered from CTE,” the family said in a statement released to the Associated Press. “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 lawsuit accuses the NFL and NFL Films of creating the myth that punishing hits are “a badge of courage which does not seriously threaten one’s health.”

Having grown up seeing many of these films before the PC police toned it down somewhat, I can say for sure those earlier films didn’t leave me with the impression they were good for the person on the receiving end.

Apparently, they’re not so good for those dishing them out, either.

No word of any official response yet from the NFL or Roger Goodell, but they knew this was coming. The NFLPA is in the process of executing a multi-billion dollar lawsuit on behalf of ex-NFL players and their families. Having watched Goodell’s interviews and replies to certain questions over the past year or so, it’s obvious that the NFLPA suit is one of the biggest challenges he and the NFL face and has been at the forefront of the NFL Commissioner’s mind.

One comment that I guffawed at was in response to the Jovan Belcher tragedy in midseason. Goodell said “Safety is at the top of the NFL’s list…” he said. I didn’t believe him then, either. He finished the “thought” off by adding “…and has been for decades” before quickly moving the topic along with more lies.

No, Roger. We know what “has been at the top of the list for decades” in the NFL.


All photos of Junior Seau have been taken offline of US Presswire for reasons as yet unknown.

Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye

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