- The Washington Times - Monday, April 8, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s a problem with the concussion litigation that clouds the NFL.

The plaintiffs are dying.

Heavyweight lawyers collide at 10 a.m. Tuesday in federal court in Philadelphia, arguing before Judge Anita Brody about the NFL’s motion to dismiss the litigation by 4,287 former players claiming, among other things, the league concealed the long-term impact of head injuries.

But behind the courtrooms and 227 lawsuits that seem to grow each minute and relentless public relations campaigns and debate over football’s safety and the NFL’s assertion that the litigation is barred by various collective bargaining agreements is a reality as inescapable as it is unyielding.

Death.

Six plaintiffs have already passed in this young year.

Complications from a car wreck claimed Bryan Stoltenberg.

Cancer got Walt Sweeney.

Heart attack for Ken Clark.

Alzheimer’s grabbed Val Joe Walker.

Long illnesses, no more definition given, took Claudis James and John Holt.

They ranged from 40 years old to 83. Played 447 regular-season NFL games over 33 seasons. Made Pro Bowls. Offense and defense. Started games and warmed benches. Now they’re gone. And they’re not alone.

At least 59 former players named in the litigation are dead, according to a review by The Washington Times. Some are wrongful death suits, filed by children and spouses left behind to make sense of what robbed the men they loved. More died after they signed up to sue the NFL.

Who’s next?

Story Continues →