As of June 30, 2012, more than 3,700 retired NFL players, including ex-Panther Stephen Davis, have initiated a total of 94 lawsuits against the NFL. In the various Complaints, the players allege that the NFL has committed several acts of negligence by failing to address key medical concerns and concealing relevant medical information. The major issue in a majority of these lawsuits is whether the NFL concealed information linking concussions and other head-related injuries to permanent head trauma and dementia. In fact, over 2,400 of the 3,700 retired NFL players are involved in concussion-related lawsuits.
The NFL class action lawsuit has sparked many comparisons to the class action lawsuit initiated against tobacco companies 15 years ago. The case had plaintiffs from 46 states and yielded a $206 Billion Dollar settlement. At the heart of the case was a similar issue: whether the tobacco companies willingly concealed information linking tobacco use to health problems. The similarities have many wondering whether the NFL litigation will yield a similar result.