The family of former Raiders offensive lineman Chris Riehm filed a lawsuit Friday contending that traumatic brain injury from repeated head injuries was a cause or contributing factor in Riehm’s death, asserting that the NFL “promoted and mythologized” violence.
Riehm, an offensive lineman for the Raiders from 1986 to 1988, died in March in his home state of Ohio at the age of 50, officially of a heart attack.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, is just the latest of almost 3,000 lawsuits brought against the National Football League by former players who suffered repeated concussions.
“The NFL was aware of the risks of repeated head trauma and multiple concussive events, but nevertheless chose to deliberately ignore and conceal from the players and their families the risks of serious long-term health effects,” said the lawsuit, filed by attorneys for Riehm’s wife Mary.
Riehm’s symptoms included severe headaches, blurred vision and slurred speech, memory loss, dizziness, loss of impulse control, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to the lawsuit.
The suit and alleges wrongful death, negligence and fraud, and is seeking unspecified damages.
The league has denied it misled players and has established several health programs to help current and former players deal with the effects of concussions.
Thousands of other former NFL players filed lawsuits in federal court in Philadelphia in June, which have been consolidated into a single master complaint. Riehm’s lawsuit is expected to eventually join the others.
Other Bay Area concussion lawsuits
- Some of the more than 300 former Raiders or 49ers who have filed concussion lawsuits:
- John Brodie QB (49ers) 1957-73
- Ronald Curry
- WR (Raiders) 2002-08
- Eric Dickerson RB (Rams, Colts, Raiders and Falcons) 1983-93
- Garrison Hearst,
- RB (Cardinals and 49ers) 1993-2004
- Jeff Hostetler QB (Giants, Raiders and Redskins) 1985-97
- Lincoln Kennedy,
- OL (Falcons and Raiders) 1993-2003
- Todd Marinovich,
- QB (Raiders) 1991-92
Source: Washington Times