Group of 35 ex-footballers sue English soccer for negligence in brain injury claims

A group of 35 former footballers, several of them Premier League players, are suing various English soccer bodies for brain injuries sustained while playing the sport.

The players are suing the English Football League, the Welsh Football Association, the English Football League, which covers the Second to Fourth Divisions, and the IFAB, which designs the rules of the game, for being “negligent” in protecting players from suffering brain injuries caused by heading the ball.

During the length of time this litigation has dragged on, six plaintiffs have died, including Joe Kiennar, a former Tottenham Hotspur legend, Ireland manager and coach of Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United, last April. He died of vascular dementia.

Plaintiffs have submitted countless medical records

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have submitted 8,000 pages of medical records, as evidence, and have said the players have had to live with irreversible neurological injuries, including dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, post-concussion syndrome, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.

Richard Boardman, attorney for the prosecution, said that the first hearing, to be held Wednesday pending a trial date, seeks “justice” for those who were not protected from brain damage by soccer authorities.

“The defendants are trying to drag out the process,” he added.

A spokesman for the FA said they could not comment as a legal process was ongoing, but added that they continually analyze and improve the safety of the sport.

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