• For decades the medical community knew that repeated blows to the head caused long term brain damage in boxers.
  • In 1994 after a string of incidents, the NFL decided to research MTBI and its effects.  Strangely, Commissioner Tagliabue named a rheumatologist (Dr. Pellman), not a neurologist, to run the study.  Dr. Pellman admitted that prior to the study most team physicians relied on “on-field anecdotes” to treat concussions and the purpose of the study was to provide facts and direction for team physicians.
  • Strangely, the results of the NFL’s research contradicted commonplace concussion management protocols and other research being conducted by neurologists across the country.  The NFL’s published findings stated that concussions “were not serious injuries” and doctors should use their discretion rather than follow an “arbitrary, rigid” concussion management system.  This shocked many in the medical community and contradicted NCAA studies and practices.
  • Beginning in 2002, autopsies of former players’ brains showed an unusual build up of dangerous proteins believed to be the result of repeated concussions and sub-concussive events.   The condition, named CTE, is marked by memory loss, insomnia, speech difficulties, impulse control and depression.  Researchers notified the NFL and published their findings.
  • In 2007, the NFL published its own brochures for players that stated that research “has not shown that having more than one or two concussions leads to permanent problems if each injury is managed properly.”  The brochure did not mention the research on CTE and NFL sponsored researchers continued to dispute that concussions caused brain damage in dead players.
  • In 2009, Congress held hearings on the NFL’s management of concussions. The fact that the NFL funded its own research that stood in such contrast to what mainstream medicine understood about MTBI/concussions led Congress to compare the NFL’s actions to the tobacco industry of the 1990s.
  • In July 2010, less than one year after denying that concussions can lead to permanent damage, the NFL dramatically changed course.  They put up posters in locker rooms that cautioned its players that multiple concussions could cause permanent brain damage, memory loss, personality changes, depression and dementia. Concussions, the posters said, “can change your life and your family’s life forever.”
  • As more information comes to light, over 2,000 players have filed suit.  The Gomez Firm is representing players with substantial NFL careers who want their case handled with discretion and professionalism.