Former NFL players file suit against helmet manufacturer Riddell

- A group of former NFL players filed a lawsuit against helmet manufacturer Riddell on Thursday, arguing that the company failed to warn players about the extent to which their helmets provided head protection.

Bringing the suit in Cook County Circuit Court are Gregory Boone; Larry Brinson; Michael Butler; Craig Curry; James Harrell; Willard Harrell; Robert Harris; Carlton “Bailey” Jones; Brad Quast; Thomas “John” Reaves; John Michael Reichenbach; Adam Schreiber; Yancy Thigpen; and Eric Wright.

The players contend that they suffered numerous concussions during their time in the NFL and played through the symptoms because they were never told the consequences of doing so, according to the suit. Further, the players alleged Riddell knew the consequences of the brain injuries the players were suffering, but misrepresented and concealed the long-term consequences from players, including promoting their helmets as “safe” without warning the players that the product would not protect them from long-term risk.

As a result of Riddell’s failure to warn the players bringing the complaint, they have suffered personal and financial injury, according to the suit.

The 16-count complaint seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and requests a trial by jury.

Erin Griffin, a spokeswoman for Riddell, declined to comment on the suit.

A similar lawsuit was filed July 7 by former Green Bay Packer Paul Hornung. In his suit, Hornung also claimed the company failed to warn him that his helmet would not protect him from brain trauma, despite knowing it at the time he played in the 1960s.

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