In the most recent development in the case against the NFL, the law firms of NBO Law and STSW have released an amended complaint that names an additional plaintiff and increases the number of total retained plaintiffs.
Lake Forest: June 4, 2014 –Namanny, Byrne and Owens of Lake Forest, California (“NBO”) and The law firms of Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin and White of Baltimore, Maryland (“STSW”) announced today the amendment of Dent, et al. v. National Football League (Case No.: C-14-2324),.the class action lawsuit filed on May 20, 2014 against the National Football League (“NFL”) alleging harm to former players from the NFL’s decades-long, illegal distribution of controlled substances and prescription drugs. The case is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California…
The Amended Complaint’s changes:
• Includes an additional named representative class plaintiff, Marcellus Wiley.
• Increases the number of retained plaintiffs from 500 to over 750; representing a 50% increase in the two weeks since the suit was filed.
New Class Plaintiff Marcellus Wiley, a retired defensive end who played 10 seasons with four NFL teams (Buffalo, San Diego, Dallas and Jacksonville) from 1997 to 2006, was a 2001 Pro Bowl selection. At Columbia University, Mr. Wiley was a first team All-American and All-Ivy League selection. He currently works as a broadcaster for ESPN.
Exemplifying the Amended Complaint’s serious factual allegations, while with the San Diego Chargers, Mr. Wiley was diagnosed with a groin sprain. He told the NFL team doctor that the pain was too widespread to be from a simple groin sprain. The doctor then said it was a bilateral groin sprain. Relying upon that diagnosis, Mr. Wiley played as expected through the injury, receiving multiple injections of an unknown, pain numbing substance for the rest of the season.
After the season, Mr. Wiley was still in pain. He finally sought a second opinion about his injury. Seeing a doctor unaffiliated with the NFL, Mr. Wiley first learned that his supposed “bilateral groin sprain” was a severely torn abdominal wall, which the independent physician called “the worst I have ever seen,” and which required major surgery. That long-masked injury caused Mr. Wiley lasting, intense pain – requiring even more injections and medications to continue playing – and shortened his career.
In April 2014, Mr. Wiley, only 39 and with no history of kidney disease, was hospitalized and diagnosed with partial renal failure and the loss of half of his kidney function. Mr. Wiley’s kidney damage was caused by years of dangerous over-medication and cocktailing of prescription drugs by NFL trainers and doctors-especially harmful to a player they knew had asthma. “I am joining this case to stand up for what I believe was a terrible injustice to me and my fellow teammates. I cannot sit silently by and let the NFL decimate another generation of healthy young athletes” Mr. Wiley said in explaining his decision to take a leadership role in the case.
The NFL has fostered a culture of drug use and coercion and has continued to put their profits ahead of players’ health. The NFL knew that the dangerous pain killers and anti-inflammatories were harmful and failed to warn players of the damaging short and long-term side effects” noted Mel Owens of NBO Law.
They and nearly 750 other former NFL players who have already joined the lawsuit tell a remarkably similar story – for over four decades, large amounts of prescription pills have been distributed illegally by trainers, and numerous injections of pain killers and anti-inflammatories have been given by doctors in violation of their medical duty “to do no harm” in every NFL team.
For more information on this lawsuit, please contact Mel Owens at melowens.com, or Thomas J. Byrne at nbolaw.com, or 949-452-0700.