Washington Redskins Hall of Fame wide receiver Art Monk has joined the growing group of former NFL players to sue the league for allegedly failing to protect them against the impact of concussions suffered during their playing careers.
Monk, who spent 14 of his 16 pro seasons with the Redskins, is the lead plantiff in a suit filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Monk and 62 others also filed suit against helmet manufacturer Riddell, Inc. Monk suffers “short term memory loss, headaches and speech difficulties” as a result of concussions suffered during his career, according to his lawsuit.
The league responded in a written statement that it “has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit. It stands in contrast to the league’s actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions.”
A Riddell spokesperson said: “It’s not appropriate to comment on pending litigation. We are confident in the integrity of our products and our ability to successfully defend our products against challenges.”
Monk joins former teammate and quarterback Mark Rypien as the two highest-profile Redskins to file lawsuits against the league. Rypien was the lead plaintiff in a suit filed against the NFL in March.
Monk’s group is represented by Girardi Keese, the firm that filed the first concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL in July of 2011.
More than 1,000 former NFL players have sued the NFL for failing to warn them of the risks of concussions and for not properly diagnosing the head injuries they suffered.
NFLConcussionLitigation.com – a site that tracks the legal proceedings – first reported Monk’s involvement in the most recent lawsuit.
The suit alleges that “players who suffered concussions were told by the NFL and its agents not to be overly concerned, and were regularly returned to game action mere minutes after sustaining them.”
Monk was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2008. During his 16 NFL seasons, he amassed 940 receptions for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns. The 888 receptions and 12,026 yards that he recorded as a Redskin are a franchise record.
Staff writer Mark Maske contributed to this report.