Tags: Chronic Pain | nfl | drugs | painkillers | injuries | football

Ex-NFL Players Sue Over Painkiller Use

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 08:24 AM

A lawsuit filed against the NFL by a group of retired players alleges that the league gave them dangerous narcotics and other painkillers so that they could play while injured, resulting in health problems later in life.
 
The players charge that the NFL obtained and administered the drugs illegally, and did not mention possible side effects. Some players claim they were never told they had broken legs and ankles and instead were given drugs to dull the pain, the Associated Press reported.

One player says he didn't received needed surgery, but was instead given anti-inflammatory medicines and skipped practices so that he could play in money-making games. Other players said they became addicted to painkillers after years of receiving the drugs for free from the league.
 
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday, names eight players, including three members of the 1985 NFL champion Chicago Bears: Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent, offensive lineman Keith Van Horne, and quarterback Jim McMahon.
 
More than 500 other former players have signed on to the lawsuit, according to lawyers.
Last year, the NFL paid $765 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of concealing known risks from players' concussions. No blame was assessed and no punitive damages were awarded to players.
 
The new lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages and the creation of an NFL-funding testing and monitoring program to help protect players from painkiller-linked addiction, injuries and disabilities.

"The NFL knew of the debilitating effects of these drugs on all of its players and callously ignored the players' long-term health in its obsession to return them to play," said Steven Silverman, attorney for the players.
 
"I was provided uppers, downers, painkillers, you name it while in the NFL," plaintiff J.D. Hill, who spent 7 years in the NFL in the 1970s, said in a statement. "I became addicted and turned to the streets after my career and was homeless. Never took a drug in my life, and I became a junkie in the NFL."

The lawsuit says Van Horne played an entire season with a broken leg and wasn't told about the injury for 5 years, "during which time he was fed a constant diet of pills to deal with the pain."
 
McMahon says he suffered a broken neck and ankle during his NFL career but team doctors and trainers never told him about the injuries. Instead, he was given drugs and told to keep playing. He also became addicted to painkillers, according to the lawsuit.

© HealthDay

 
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A lawsuit filed against the NFL by a group of retired players alleges that the league gave them dangerous narcotics and other painkillers so that they could play while injured, resulting in health problems later in life. The players charge that the NFL obtained and...
nfl, drugs, painkillers, injuries, football
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2014-24-21
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 08:24 AM
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