Former Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best’s career ended prematurely due to head injuries.
His legal battle against the NFL has just begun.
Best has filed a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming the league knew about head injuries and did not do enough to protect him, according to USA TODAY Sports. The lawsuit also names helmet manufacturer Riddell as a defendant and seeks unspecified "economic and noneconomic" damages, while Best reportedly has worker's-compensation claim pending against the Lions.
"In Michigan, you plead in excess of $25,000, but we're not prepared to give a specific amount at this time," Bret Schnitzer, Best’s attorney, told USA TODAY Sports. "Unfortunately, with these types of injuries, as has been documented, the long-term effects of the injuries to the brain may not manifest themselves for a number of years. Jahvid, obviously, had some manifestation of concussion syndrome, which is well-documented in the media.
"But in terms of the full extent of the injury to the brain, as we can see from other players and from the science, that can't always be determined in a 25-year-old. It's just like mesothelioma or asbestos type of case ... it sometimes takes decades to see the full ramifications of the injury."
Best had a history of concussions prior to entering the NFL, and it will be interesting to see if his attorney can prove the league is negligent.
Despite a concussion history, Best was a first-round pick by Detroit in 2010. Best rushed for 555 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie, plus had 487 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He had 390 rushing yards and two touchdowns, plus 287 receiving yards and one touchdown, before sustaining a concussion in 2011. Best was never medically cleared to play football, and Detroit released him in 2013.
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