The family of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson have filed suit against the NFL for wrongful death, according to ESPN Chicago. Duerson, who was an Indiana native and a 12-year NFL veteran, played strong safety for the Chicago Bears and started 15 games in the team's 1985 Super Bowl run.
Duerson died in February 2011, committing suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In his suicide note, he requested his brain to be donated to science in order to help study the effects of concussions on NFL players. In recent years, the NFL has made a number of concessions for player safety in an effort to curb concussions -- outlawing certain helmet-to-helmet hits, moving the kickoff closer to the endzone and exploring new, safer helmet technology.
For the majority of NFL history, however, and certainly in Duerson's time, concussions were roundly considered minor injuries. Unfortunately, the career's worth of concussions Duerson sustained appeared to have caused eventual traumatic brain damage and vastly affected Duerson's cognitive abilities in his final days.