More ex-players sue NFL, equipment makers over head injuries


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Another group of former NFL players has filed a lawsuit against the NFL and equipment makers Riddell and Easton, claiming that the league was negligent in its handling of head injuries during the players’ careers.

The list of players includes Hall of Fame Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lee Roy Selmon, his brother and defensive teammate Dewey Selmon, former Buccaneers tight end Jimmie Giles and running back James Wilder and former New York Jets fullback Woody Bennett.


The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court late Friday. It claims that the NFL and the equipment manufacturers knew the effects of brain injury, memory loss and dementia from trauma suffered on the football field for years and ‘acted with callous indifference’ and ‘reckless abandon.’

Another of the plaintiffs is Ralph Wenzel, who played with the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers from 1966 to 1973. He claims he was not warned of the risks of long-term injury and now suffers memory loss, headaches and sleeplessness.

Carolyn Lens, the widow of former Atlanta Falcon and St. Louis Cardinal Greg Lens, is also suing, claiming her husband ‘suffered a premature death as a result of these injuries.’

At least two other groups of players previously sued the league claiming it was negligent in addressing safety issues relating to head injuries.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league has not seen the complaint ‘but would vigorously contest any claims of this kind.’



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