Legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino has excused himself from the group of
15 former National Football League players who filed a federal lawsuit against the NFL last week, saying he has not manifested any symptoms of long-term brain injuries.
In a statement to the press, Marino explained why he was included in last week's civil action. He told reporters that he authorized a claim last year in case he needed future medical coverage for possible ailments, such as Alzheimer's or ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). The filing inadvertently caused his name to be included in the lawsuit filed on May 30 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
"I have made the decision it is not necessary for me to be part of any claims or this lawsuit and therefore I am withdrawing as a plaintiff effective immediately," said Marino. "I am sympathetic to other players who are seeking relief who may have suffered head injuries. I also disclaim any references in the form complaint of current head injuries."
The complaint alleges that NFL officials had full knowledge of the long lasting consequences of head trauma and concussions and concealed the evidence to create a more exciting product for the fans. According to the claim, the league's refusal to adopt stricter guidelines for helmet use during play or stronger protocols for players returning to the field following an injury has contributed to the cognitive disorders suffered by the plaintiffs.
It is just one of hundreds of offshoot suits related to the larger class action filed by almost 5,000 retired players last year. The two parties reached an agreement for a $765 million settlement, but the deal was rejected by Judge Anita Brody because she fears the sum is too low to adequately cover current and future retired players who may need long term care.