Friday, August 30, 2013

NFL to pay $765 million to 4500+ players and widows for brain damage from hits

Democracy Now! included an ABC news report on the suicide in 2011 of former Chicago Bear and Notre Dame safety Dave Duerson:
CHRIS NOWINSKI: Football players are at a very high risk because they take, studies show, about a thousand hits to the head, each fall some—you know, at least 20 Gs, which is like a small car crash. So, essentially, your brain actually starts falling apart. Ten or 20 years later, you start getting symptoms like memory problems and emotional problems, and they eventually lead to dementia.

From Amy Goodman's report (transcript at Democracy Now!):
     JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And could you tell us about some of the most damning evidence compiled in the lawsuit that prompted the NFL to decide to settle, especially the role of a doctor who was in the lawsuit, named repeatedly, Dr. Elliot Pellman?
     BILL LITTLEFIELD: Yeah. Well, happily, Juan, a lot of that evidence is going to come out, even though there won’t be a trial, because there’s a book coming out very soon and a Frontline documentary called League of Denial, in which Dr. Pellman is featured. The charge against him, basically, is that, first of all, he was in charge of the concussion committee for the National Football League, and he had no particular specialty in neurology. He’s a rheumatologist. So, why he was even in that position has been brought into question. He was also the sideline physician, the team doctor for the New York Jets, and numbers of members of the Jets have said that they suffered concussions during games, Dr. Pellman looked at them, asked them a couple of questions, and then sent them back into the game. And for years, before this settlement, Dr. Pellman had been saying that there was no evidence at all that suffering multiple concussions would lead to any problems, brain problems, down the line.

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