Posted January 23, 2013

Junior Seau’s family sues NFL in wrongful death lawsuit

Junior Seau's family is suing the NFL in a wrongful death lawsuit. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Junior Seau’s family is suing the NFL in a wrongful death lawsuit. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The family of the late Junior Seau is suing the NFL for not acting on information it had about the dangers of repeated head injuries.

Posthumous tests revealed earlier in January that Seau, who died last May from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the result of sustaining multiple concussions as a veteran NFL linebacker for almost two decades.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the family is blaming the league for turning a blind eye to these kinds of injuries. The suit was filed on Wednesday in California Superior Court in San Diego and alleges that the NFL is guilty of “acts or omissions” that hid the dangers of concussions. The Seaus also claim that the NFL purposely ignored or concealed evidence that showed brain injuries.

The family is also suing Riddell, Inc., the manufacturer of NFL helmets, for its “negligent” design:

Helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc., also is being sued by the Seaus, who say Riddell was “negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets” used by NFL players. The suit says the helmets were unreasonably dangerous and unsafe.

The Seaus said they hope the lawsuit will send a message that instead of glorying violence, the league needs to do a better job at caring for its players:

“We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior. But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations.”


The NFL simply can't withstand all these law suits. It will go bankrupt. What will be left team-wise will be a flag football league. The Lingerie league will be more interesting to watch.


People who play professional sports should know the risks.  Maybe they should go for a $50,000 per year job if they are worried about getting hurt.  But, they don't think of that looking for the big payday......


There are several giant holes in their case - 

1) Seau does not have an extensive history of missing any time due to 'dingers', 'flu-like symptoms', 'head injury' or any other old NFL term for consussions.

2) There is no proof that CTE is actually the cause of his (or anyone's) depression or suicidal tendancies. Correlation does not equal causation, and there are several sizable logical leaps. Concussions (and concussions alone) from football caused CTE... CTE causes depression/suicidal tendancies... THIS suicide was caused by CTE-induced depression.

3) The NFL knew this, and hid the information from the players. Perfect ignorance is often an acceptable legal defense. Leaded gasoline manufacturers are not liable for the damage caused by their product for this reason

4) Even assuming they can prove the above, They would have to prove that the concussions sustained in the NFL were the main factor (and not those sustained in pee-wee, high school, college, or any other time).

Whatever 1 Like

OK, so Seau's family is going to give back all the money he made during his career, right? Because that would send a message to future potential players that they shouldn't make their own choice to play football or they too will lose everything they earned. Oh, wait, they're not giving the money back, are they?

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius 1 Like

It will be amusing to read what economic damages they are seeking. Junior made tens of millions of dollars as an NFL linebacker. As opposed to the income he would have gotten as ja anitor (like his parents). Yet another lawsuit that would never be filed if the plaintiffs were liable for all legal costs to defend the suit if they lose. And court costs. This nation desperately needs tort reform.


This is crazy. Junior was an awesome backer. One of the greats. I think he would be appalled at this. It is like banging a hooker and then trying to sue because you got herpes.

John187 1 Like

 @PatrickTherealPdiddeyDailey They've decided to sue because a family member is dead. Sending a message to the NFL and its associated vendors may help to make the game safer.  Junior was a person who probably would have been appalled if no meaning was taken from his death.  There was a reason he shot himself in the chest instead of the head. 


 @John187  @PatrickTherealPdiddeyDailey Yes, because I am positive that Riddell made an intentionally dangerous design to actually help create MORE concussions.  This lawsuit is an absolute joke, and I have little doubt that the family is just money-grubbing after an unfortunately tragic fact.


stupid idiots. theyre not gonna win anything. its not the NFL's fault he killed himself. greedy ass samoans.