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NFL players sue league over concussion health risks

Former Philadelphia Eagles fullback Kevin Turner is seen in this file photo. He is one of the over 2,000 NFL players suing the league over concussion health risks.

June 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Over 2,000 NFL players filed a class-action lawsuit in a Philadelphia federal court Thursday against the league. The suit unites more than 80 pending lawsuits, claiming the NFL knew for years that concussions cause long-term brain injury.

"There's just no focus on the most important part of your body, which is your brain," said former NFL player Kevin Turner.

Turner played fullback for the Philadelphia Eagles and can remember just two documented concussions. He believes he suffered long-term brain damage and is one of the former players filing suit against the NFL.

"This action is about the retired players getting the help that they need," he said.

Recently, the league has come under fire for its handling of concussions. In May, former San Diego star linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide in his home. It's another high-profile death that has raised questions about the sport's dangers.

The former players say in their lawsuit: "The NFL exacerbated the health risk by promoting the game's violence and deliberately and fraudulently concealed the link between concussions and long-term brain damage."

However the league says it has made player safety a top priority, and "Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit."

Back in April, former Atlanta Falcon Ray Easterling killed himself, and his widow says she wants the league to provide more testing for players who show signs of dementia and ALS. She said her husband suffered for 20 years before they knew it was a result of football concussions.