The family of Junior Seau, the star linebacker who shot and killed himself last year, sued the NFL, the helmet maker Riddell, and others Wednesday, accusing them of hiding information about the link between head hits and long-term cognitive issues.
The family said the league not only ‘‘propagated the false myth that collisions of all kinds, including brutal and ferocious collisions, many of which lead to short-term and long-term neurological damage to players, are an acceptable, desired and natural consequence of the game’’ but that ‘‘the NFL failed to disseminate to then-current and former NFL players health information it possessed’’ about the risks associated with brain trauma.
Seau’s family, which filed its case in state court in San Diego, seeks an unspecified amount of damages.
Seau was 43 when he shot himself in the chest at his home in California in May. He played 20 seasons in the NFL with the Chargers, Dolphins, and Patriots.
This month the National Institutes of Health said that tissue samples from Seau’s brain showed that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head hits and brain trauma.
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