The family of Junior Seau has sued the NFL, claiming the former linebacker's suicide was the result of brain disease caused by violent hits he sustained while playing football.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed Wednesday in California Superior Court in San Diego, blames the NFL for its "acts or omissions" that hid the dangers of repetitive blows to the head. It says Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from those hits, and accuses the NFL of deliberately ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries.
Seau, a linebacker who played 20 seasons in the NFL and retired in 2009, died at age 43 of a self-inflicted gunshot in May. He was diagnosed with CTE, based on posthumous tests, earlier this month.
Helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc., also is being sued by the Seaus, who say Riddell was "negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets" used by NFL players. The suit says the helmets were unreasonably dangerous and unsafe.
Plaintiffs are listed as Gina Seau, Junior's ex-wife; Junior's children Tyler, Sydney, Jake and Hunter, and Bette Hoffman, trustee of Seau's estate.
The lawsuit accuses the league of glorifying the violence in pro football, and creating the impression that delivering big hits "is a badge of courage which does not seriously threaten one's health."
It singles out NFL Films and some of its videos for promoting the brutality of the game.
"In 1993's 'NFL Rocks,' Junior Seau offered his opinion on the measure of a punishing hit: 'If I can feel some dizziness, I know that guy is feeling double (that),' " the suit says.
You know what is missing in the above text, which came from ESPN’s site?
The fact that no one held a gun to Seau’s head to force him to make MILLIONS playing football.
In fact (let me apologize in advance for this one), the only one who held a gun to Seau’s head was SEAU!
I’m sorry-his death was certainly regrettable, and a tragedy for the family, but for them to act like the NFL was covering something up means that they are saying it was unforeseeable for them that all of those collisions and concussions might cause future problems.
Seau is not accountable for his choices-it's all the fault of the NFL, Riddell, and NFL Films for leading poor little choirboy Junior astray.
As far as I am concerned, the lawsuit makes the NFL's case by quoting the “NFL Rocks” video!
Seau was PROUD of delivering those punishing hits!
He REVELED in his "Say-Ow" nickname!
He LOVED being on the weekly highlight reels!
If Gina Seau and Bette Hoffman truly believe that Junior Seau was a victim, they are stupid, and I do not think they are stupid.
I know that after a death, people reach out for someone to blame, and I am saddened for their loss.
But I would have had more respect for them if they would have reached out to the league to set up some sort of resource for former players.
The lawsuit claims money was behind the NFL's actions.
Sorry, but in my mind, the greedy bloodsucking leeches in this story are the millionaires who filed this lawsuit.