Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith, who played 19 seasons for the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins, sued the NFL on Thursday over concussions sustained during his career.
Smith’s lawsuit was among five concussion lawsuits filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the concussion litigation is being consolidated. Four of the lawsuits are wrongful death claims.
There are now 112 lawsuits involving 2,770 former players, according to a review of each by The Washington Times.
Smith, 49, is the 22nd Hall of Famer to sue over concussions. Two other Hall of Famers to sue — Paul Krause and Art Monk — also played for the Redskins.
Drafted out of Virginia Tech in with the first overall pick in 1985, Smith reached double-digit sacks in 13 seasons. In 2000, he signed with the Redskins as a free agent, where he spent the final four seasons of his career and added 29 more sacks to pass Reggie White as the all-time leader with 200.
Smith declined comment through a spokesman Friday.
Like the other lawsuits, this one claims the NFL concealed the long-term effects of concussions. The NFL maintains the lawsuits are without merit.
Similar language is used for each of the 37 plaintiffs in Smith’s lawsuit: “As a result of the head trauma suffered during his playing career, Bruce Smith suffers from symptoms associated with multiple traumatic brain injury and CTE.”
Longtime St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants running back Ottis Anderson and six-time Pro Bowl defensive back Deron Cherry from the Kansas City Chiefs are also included in the lawsuit.