View Full Version : Hall of Fame inductee Dermontti Dawson among those in law suit against NFL

07-13-2012, 09:21 AM
With his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame just a few weeks away, former Steelers center Dermontti Dawson is among the latest former NFL players to file suit against the league for head injuries sustained while playing professional football.

According to a suit filed July 3 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Dawson and three other ex-Steelers -- running back Stephen Avery, wide receiver Jeff Graham and safety Jonathan Staggers -- are among 47 former players being represented by attorneys John D. Giddens and Phillip Thomas in Jackson, Miss.

The suit alleges that the league "was aware of the evidence and the risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries and concussions for decades, but deliberately ignored and actively concealed the information from the Plaintiffs and all others who participated in organized football at all levels" and that the repeated injuries can lead to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE.CTE is a degenerative brain disease associated with a history of concussions and head traumas. Researchers say it can lead to depression, erratic behaviors, memory loss and ultimately early onset dementia.

The suit cites the cases of Steelers Hall of Fame center Mike Webster and guard Terry Long -- both teammates of Dawson -- among several other NFL players who have been disabled or died by their own hand, with CTE as a culprit.

Webster died of heart failure in 2002 at the age of 50, after being mentally disabled from repeated head injuries, the suit said. Long committed suicide in '05 after battling depression which may have been brought on by CTE.The suit does not specify injuries to Dawson nor any of the other players involved.More than 2,600 former players and their spouses have filed suit against the NFL to date, including dozens who played all or part of their careers with the Steelers.

Dawson, 47, was a second-round draft pick of the Steelers in 1988 and he played his entire career in Pittsburgh. He started in five games at right guard as a rookie before taking over starting center duties from Webster in '89. At one point he played 170 consecutive games. A seven-time Pro Bowl and six-time first-team All-Pro selection, nagging hamstring injuries ultimately ended his career. He was released after the 2000 season and then retired.

He will be enshrined into the Hall Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.Avery was with the Steelers from 1993-95, the final three seasons of his five-season NFL career.Graham was a second-round draft for the Steelers in '91 and was with the team through the '93 season.He played eight more seasons with the Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers.Staggers was a fifth-round draft pick for the Steelers in '70 and played that season and the '71 season for the team before playing four more seasons with the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.

The plaintiffs' attorneys could not be reached for comment, nor could a spokesperson for the NFL.In response to previous lawsuits, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy has said that "the NFL 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."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."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/dawsons-hall-call-on-court-detour-644493/#ixzz20VaBag00

K Train
07-13-2012, 09:27 AM
they are just ruining it for a quick buck that they really arent owed at all

07-14-2012, 11:10 AM
I'm torn on what kind of case they should really have. I mean honestly if you play in the NFL it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize you could get hurt. Why in the world would you trust your employer telling you or not telling you what the risks are and take that as gospel? Do you own research and use common sense..hey, I'm playing a game that requires pads and helmet and for me to hit people..I might get hurt!

07-14-2012, 11:15 AM
I am torn on this as well. It appears to me this is a known risk when you play the sport.


Real Deal Steel
07-14-2012, 01:16 PM
I not torn one bit. These guys are bums. Plain and simple. They knew the risk but they wanted the money, fame and glory. A lot of these guys have miss managed their money and looking for a free bail out.

Raleigh Steel
07-15-2012, 07:19 AM
the thing that really gets me on this issue, is that, if the league-owners-specialist and anyone else who could have came to these guys and presented them with 100% of the data/risks/etc., would any of these players had quit? HELL NO!

the guys that play are warriors (i hate using that word because the true warriors are our military). hell, these guys have to be told to sit out most of the time. they want to be out there, they don't want to be hurt because they are afraid they'll lose their job. and not one player would say, "golly, you mean when i'm 50 i might not be able to remember stuff? hmmm, i'm 25 now and i make over a million dollars, so yeah i'll give that up."


07-16-2012, 01:10 AM
I agree, if someone did give them the information they think they deserved they wouldn't have quit. Even the guys from the 70's who didn't make squat compared to today's players would still have stayed in the league.

- From BRC's Droid Bionic of Coolness

07-16-2012, 10:48 AM
I'm also not torn one bit. Was Mike Websters problems from getting hit in the head or from taking steroids? We have way too many lawsuits in this country.

More than 2,600 former players and their spouses have filed suit against the NFL to date

Remember that number next time you want to slam the commissioner. He is simply trying to protect the owners money.

Do you think Dermontti or someone else will use their speech time during the ceremony to bring this up? It wouldn't surprise me one bit.