Former Chicago Bears defensive back Shaun Gayle has filed a lawsuit against the National Football League, joining hundreds of former players who say repeated head injuriesthey suffered on the field have produced debilitating health effects.
Gayle alleged in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday, that the multiple head traumas he experienced during his 12-year career in the NFL have caused him to experience symptoms in line with the neuro-degenerative disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
“Following his retirement form the NFL, Shuan Gayle suffers from headaches, occasional short-term memory loss and other cognitive deficits associated with CTE,” the lawsuit said.
Gayle claims the NFL failed to warn him about the potential long-term impact of numerous concussive head traumas, according to the lawsuit.
An NFL spokesman said in an email that the league "has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so."
"Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "It stands in contrast to the league's actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions."
The lawsuit also accuses the league of failing to implement policies to keep him from returning to a game or practice in which he sustained a head injury.
The league also did not require him to be cleared by a team physician or independent neurological or neuro-physiological consultant prior to resuming football after suffering from a concussion, the lawsuit alleges.
Gayle isn’t the first former Bears player to sue the league over the issue. The family of Dave Duerson filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging that brain damage from his playing days contributed to his suicide last year. Duerson shot himself in the chest so researchers would be able to check his brain for the degenerative disease. Doctors confirmed he suffered from the disease.
A complaint filed last month on behalf of more than 2,000 former NFL players accused the league of ignoring evidence about the long-term consequences of repeated head injuries.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times