NFL Drama: Early Onset Dementia, Brain Injuries, & Lawsuits


Football is one of America’s favorite pastimes. In recent years the health risks associated with football have stepped into the national spotlight. The NFL continues to be slammed with head injury lawsuits from well-known players like Tony Doresett, and Jim McMahon. Even with the negative publicity, the NFL has not made serious strides to prevent brain injuries and the traumatic impact they have on players’ lives.

Because an NFL players careers put them at risk for injury, it falls under the guise of workers’ compensation. Players from the 1970’s through the 1990’s, were instructed by NFL staff to use their helmets as a method of blocking opponents, putting their heads and necks directly in harm’s way. Tracy Scroggins, former Detroit Lion’s Defensive End, filed a lawsuit citing this, and alleging that the league knew the risks associated with the game and its teachings, specifically with head injuries.

One of the debilitating side effects of head injuries is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease. CTE is found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma such as athletes and veterans. This disease causes a protein to form that slowly kills brain cells.  Former Bears’ Player, Jim McMahon has admitted to having multiple concussions and subsequent memory issues and suffers from CTE. McMahon was on the winning Bears’ Super bowl team in 1986. In 2011, he was a part of a lawsuit with six other former players citing the league’s misconduct and negligence regarding head injuries. In 2012, at the age of 53, McMahon was diagnosed with early stage dementia, which is a symptom associated with CTE.

If you or someone you know was a victim of a head injury, please call the Illinois Hammer at the  Law offices of Dworkin and Maciariello for a free case assessment at 1‑800‑487‑8669. We take pride in fighting for what you deserved. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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