Former NFL running back Gale Sayers is suing the NFL and helmet manufacturer Riddell for allegedly failing to prevent head injuries that eventually led to memory loss and other brain damage, according to Michael Lansu of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Sayers, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, claims that he suffers from memory loss, headaches and "other cognitive deficits" from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. That disease, known more commonly as CTE, is generally diagnosed after death, and little information is known as fact regarding its development.
Repeated head injuries, including concussions, are thought to be a significant risk factor but the disease's causes and effects are still being studied.
Sayers filed suit on Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Sayers' primary claim is that multiple head injuries, including concussions were sustained over the course of his extensive NFL career. Lansu's report says this includes "multiple documented and undocumented" concussions.
What it all boils down to is simple: Sayers says the NFL never warned him that playing with a head injury could cause permanent brain damage. Riddell is included in the suit because Sayers claims they did not "provide adequate safety instructions or information about which models provide the best protection."
Neither the NFL nor Riddell have commented on the lawsuit. The NFL recently reached a settlement with a large group of former players who were suing the league for issues related to head injuries. The NFL ended up paying $765 million in the settlement.