Earlier today a group of former NFL players filed a lawsuit against the National Football League, claiming the league illegally supplied the players with narcotics and painkillers that allowed them to play through serious injury. They claim these illegally supplied drugs have now led to medical problems later in their life.
More than 500 other former players have signed onto the lawsuit.
There is an NFL Drug Class Action Lawsuit website set up with more info.
The three ex-Bears have their own pages on the site, with the specifics on their case.
From Keith Van Horne, the starting right tackle on the 1985 team,
"I was never told by the NFL that an x-ray revealed I had a broken leg. Instead they let me play on it for years while they gave me endless painkillers and anti-inflammatories. I discovered the break several years later while being x-rayed for another injury. Now I live in daily and severe pain". Keith also reports that he saw an outside doctor for a foot treatment. He prescribed Percodan, a controlled dangerous substance, for use as needed. Shortly thereafter, Keith was called into the Head Trainers office and lambasted because "the team got a letter from the DEA asking why I needed more narcotics. I said more narcotics, I only have one script. Then I was told that the Bears ordered painkillers under my name at the beginning of the season, without telling me. I guess they just stockpiled the stuff".
From Hall Of Fame defensive end Richard Dent,
Mr. Dent received numerous injections by doctors and pills from trainers. One season, he broke his foot with about six games left in the season, but rather than operate or cast it, the team doctor simply injected him with pain killers and anti-inflammatories to get him through the remaining game. Despite off-season surgery, he is still unable to walk properly on that foot, and is now experiencing a hip problem because of the inability to walk properly. "I was told to play on a broken big toe that was numbed for 6 games. I was never told that numbing effectively killed the nerves in the toe permanently. I have not been able to walk right and without pain since".
From Super Bowl winning QB Jim McMahon,
"I was constantly being given drugs which I now know masked the pain and made matters significantly worse. Worst of all, it was kept from me that I had no labrum in my shoulder the season after winning the Super Bowl. Rather than getting much needed surgery, I was given pain killers and pushed out there for 10 weeks. It was like sacrificing McMahon for a chance to repeat."
Both Van Horne and McMahon were plaintiffs in the concussion case.
This drug class action lawsuit is asking for, "an injunction creating an NFL-funded testing and monitoring program to help prevent addiction and injuries and disabilities related to the use of painkillers. It also seeks unspecified financial damages."
Much like the concussion litigation, the attorneys on this lawsuit is claiming the NFL knew the effects of the drugs they were handing out, yet ignored any potential health risks in an effort to quickly return their players to the field of play.
What are your thoughts on this latest lawsuit brought against the NFL?