The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Dave Duerson NFL Lawsuit: League Contributed to his Suicide

Philadelphia is becoming the focal point of the NFL concussion lawsuits. A variety of lawsuits representing groups of retired players have been filed across the country and these lawsuits are slowly being consolidated into one giant lawsuit in Philly.

Most of these lawsuits are the same, making the same basic claims against the same defendants — the NFL and helmet manufacturer Riddell. However, as more lawsuits are filed, new wrinkles are being discovered and different facets of the case are being emphasized.

In the newest wrinkle, the family of former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson is suing the NFL not just for his injuries, but for his death.

One year ago, Duerson shot himself in the chest at his home in Florida, reports the Chicago Tribune. His family donated his brain for research and scientists discovered that Duerson suffered from brain injuries likely due to the concussions he suffered while playing in the NFL.

In the Dave Duerson NFL lawsuit, his family claims he would be alive today except for the fact that the NFL failed to educate players about concussions, failed to warn them of the dangers of repeated head trauma and continuing to play, failed to rapidly diagnose head injuries, and failed to implement policies to prevent injured players from returning to the field, reports the Tribune.

To prove wrongful death, Duerson's family would have to show that the defendants' actions caused the harm. The Dave Duerson NFL lawsuit adds a layer to the case as the plaintiff now has to show that the suicide was foreseeable and that the injuries sustained playing in the league directly led to the decision to commit suicide.

The NFL concussion lawsuits are slowly evolving. Plaintiffs who have committed suicide like Dave Duerson have sued the league. They will have the difficult task of arguing that the NFL directly caused the suicides.

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