The estate of former Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Fame center Mike Webster and 65 others sued the National Football League over concussions sustained during their careers, according to a court filing.
Webster died at age 50 in 2002 and became was the first NFL player found to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease.
The lawsuit was moved to U.S. District Court for the Central District of California this week.
The 83-page complaint, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, claims that Webster and the other plaintiffs "were unaware of the source due to active fraud by the Defendants to this very day.”
It also claims that the NFL for the past four decades "actively concealed and disputed any correlation between on the field sub-concussive and concussive events."
In January, a federal judge rejected a proposed $765 million settlement between the NFL and more than 4,800 former players because of concerns about whether the settlement funds were sufficient.
“I want to make sure their rights are protected,” said Tom Girardi, one of the case’s attorneys who represents more than 1,400 retired players. “You file that knowing that it’s going to go into the large pot. You want to make sure that they have their voice, that if there’s compensation coming they’re going to get it.”