Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino joined 14 other players in a lawsuit filed against the National Football League filed last week in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
Marino’s complaint states that he “sustained repetitive, traumatic sub-concussive and/or concussive head impact during NFL games and/or practices. On information and belief, Plaintiff suffers from symptoms of brain injury caused by the repetitive, traumatic sub-concussive and/or concussive head impacts sustained during NFL games and/or practices. On information and belief, the Plaintiff’s symptoms arise from injuries that are latent and have developed and continue to develop over time.”
The lawsuit claims against the NFL include: “fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, negligent hiring, negligent retention, and civil conspiracy/fraudulent concealment.”
The lawsuit states that for 40 years, the NFL denied “that it knew, should have known or believed there to be any relationship between NFL players suffering concussions while playing, the NFL policies concerning tackling methodology or the NFL policies about return to play, and long-term physical, neurological, mental and cognitive problems such as headaches, dizziness, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease, impulse control, anger issues, confusion, depression, and/or other neurogenic disorders that many players have experienced.”
The lawsuit doesn’t target the makers of helmets like Riddell, which has been named in other player’s concussion lawsuits.
According to the lawsuit, “In the early 1970s, the NFL became aware of published materials accounting for the rate and seriousness of concussions in the sport of football.”
The filing of the lawsuit by Marino comes just months after he was let go by CBS as part of a restructuring of the NFL Today on Sunday mornings. Marino worked for 12 seasons as an analyst at CBS after he retired from the NFL in 1999. Marino played 16 years in the NFL and started at least 12 games in all but three years of his career.
Since then, Marino and the Dolphins have reportedly had discussions on a role with the team, but nothing concrete has materialized.
Marino, 52, has made previous comments that said taking away too much hitting from the game would turn it into “flag football.”
“If you take away too much of it, then it’s gonna be like flag football…” Marino told Yahoo.com last year. “The player’s know what the risks are. When I went out there to play I knew there was a chance I could get a concussion.”
Nearly 5,000 former players are involved in lawsuits have been filed against the NFL over the issue of concussions. A massive settlement nearing $700 million between the league and many of the players was rejected by a federal judge over fears it wouldn’t be enough to cover the ongoing medical expenses.
The other former players filing suit with Marino are Erik Affholter, Richard Bishop, Bruce Clark, Chris Dugan, Anthony Grant, Mark Green, John Huddleston, Ethan Johnson, LaCurtis Jones, Peter Manning, Moses Moreno, Toddrick McIntosh, Jackie Wallace and Dwight Wheeler.