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Thousands of NFL players blame league for brain damage

The National Football League is in the midst of a major controversy that may end up playing out in courts. Thousands of former players are hoping to sue the NFL because they believe that the league knew about the dangers and complications that come with a traumatic brain injury. Though the players were aware that they would likely receive concussions during their careers, they were not aware of the long-term effects that such brain damage can create.

This is a workplace injury case that could affect the way that certain situations play out in other areas. Imagine if your employer exposed you to certain hard labor over and over. You expected that you would eventually get injured because it was the way things were, but instead of questioning it, you let it happen and eventually received the expected injury.

Later on, after you were no longer working at that company, you find out that the specific injury you received can and has caused extreme complications. One former athlete died after suffering from dementia that may have been tied to the concussions he received while playing seven seasons in the NFL. According to researchers who examined his brain after his death, the vital organ had shrunk to the size of a child's brain. His wife said that she took care of him and she had watched him slip away over the course of 15 to 20 years.

Instead of taking responsibility for cases such as this, the NFL is looking to place blame elsewhere. An attorney for the league said that the players' union, teams and trainers' associations had enough information to put all of this together and determine that players should be aware of this. If this is the case, a judge may not allow the players affected by this -- some certainly from Ohio -- to file their suits. Anyone injured while on the job should ask an attorney how to proceed.

Source: CBS News, "Should the NFL pay ex-players who suffered brain injuries?," Elaine Quijano, April 9, 2013

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