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Junior Seau’s family to sue NFL in wrongful death lawsuit

01.23.13 at 2:20 pm ET

Junior Seau‘s family is suing the NFL on the grounds that the former linebacker’s suicide was the result of a brain disease he developed after multiple concussions while playing in the NFL.

The wrongful death lawsuit says that Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy after numerous blows to the head that weren’t treated correctly. It also accuses the NFL of deliberately ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with brain trauma.

Seau was diagnosed earlier this month with CTE after his death of a self-inflicted gunshot in May.

“We were saddened to learn that Junior, a loving father and teammate, suffered from CTE,” the Seau family said in a statement released to The Associated Press. “While Junior always expected to have aches and pains from his playing days, none of us ever fathomed that he would suffer a debilitating brain disease that would cause him to leave us too soon.

“We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior. But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations.”

The Seaus are also suing helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc., saying they were “negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets.”

A November Associated Press review found that more than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in at least 175 cases as the issue of concussions causing mental illness in players has come to the forefront. The plaintiffs in this latest case areĀ listed as Gina Seau, Junior’s ex-wife; Junior’s children Tyler, Sydney, Jake and Hunter, and Bette Hoffman, trustee of Seau’s estate.

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