9 former Chiefs players join brain injury lawsuit

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm •  Published: December 23, 2013
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hall of Famers Albert Lewis and Art Still are among nine former Kansas City Chiefs players who have joined a lawsuit that contends the team hid the risks of permanent brain injuries from repeated concussions.

The concussions happened between late 1987 and early 1993 when there was no NFL collective bargaining agreement in place.

Five former players filed the initial suit against the Chiefs this month, saying the team ignored decades of scientific research indicating repeated head trauma causes permanent brain damage. In the amended suit filed Saturday in Jackson County Circuit Court, the plaintiffs said Arrowhead Stadium's artificial surface contributed to the head injuries.

Also joining the lawsuit were Dino Hackett, Todd McNair, Fred Jones, Tim Barnett, Walker Lee Ashley, Emile Harry and Chris Smith, along with the wives of several of them.

Ken McClain, a lawyer whose firm is representing the plaintiffs, said at least 10 more former Chiefs could join the suit by before the end of the year.

"Certainly, Hall of Famers who contributed greatly to building the franchise add to the urgency for the team to find a just resolution, rather than try to ignore it or act like they had nothing to do with it," McClain said.

Chiefs spokesman Ted Crews said the team had no comment.

In recent years, a string of former NFL players and other athletes who suffered concussions have been diagnosed after their deaths with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, including Junior Seau and Ray Easterling, both of whom committed suicide.

In August, the NFL reached a tentative $765 million deal to settle lawsuits filed by more than 4,500 former players who developed dementia or other concussion-related health problems they say were caused by football. The settlement, subject to approval by a federal judge in Philadelphia, would apply to all past NFL players and spouses of those who are deceased.

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