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Joe Horn One of Several Former Players Suing NFL Over Use of Painkiller

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Former WR Joe Horn as I like to remember him--being a fun-loving divo.

Let’s just start with the details:

“The plaintiffs have described the situation as one of being in a pregame locker room with players lining up to receive injections of Toradol in a ‘cattle call’ with no warnings of any sort being given, no distinguishing between different medical conditions of the players, and regardless of whether the player had an injury of any kind,” the suit alleges.

The dozen retired players, including Joe Horn, Matt Joyce and Jerome Pathon, played in the late 1990s and early 2000s and say they now have anxiety, depression, short-term memory loss, severe headaches, sleeping problems and dizziness, according to Christopher A. Seeger, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

“We took it like clockwork,” said Horn, a receiver who played 12 years with the Kansas City Chiefs, the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons and who says he now experiences bouts of dizziness and blackouts. “They don’t meet with you to tell you what will happen five years later. Had I known that there were going to be complications, I wouldn’t have taken the shots.”

In accusing the league of negligence, fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation and conspiracy, the former players are seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages, and the reimbursement of their legal costs.

The league disputed the suit’s claims.

It’s possible this suit could have critical implications. We all know when it comes to football NFL rules about health get stretched…by everyone including the players. What the former players are arguing here is that the power to make a decision about whether or not to risk their health was taken out of their hands. It’s probably not relevant to the lawsuit, but I can’t help but wonder what they would have done with that information? Would they really not have taken the drug? Again, not necessarily relevant to the case but it does represent the kind of questions that will come up depending on the direction it all takes.

I think of New York Giants OT Stacy Andrews who was coughing up blood and originally thought he had a rib issue this week. Turns out he had a pulmonary embolism in BOTH lungs and could have died. Andrews is lucky he and the trainers looked further into his symptoms. There are lots of symptoms and signs that get ignored especially late in the season when everyone is stressing about closing the season right and setting themselves up for a spot on the team next year.

I guess what I’m saying in a roundabout sort of way is that hiding information is somewhat a permanent part of the game and how the legal system handles this case could get really interesting. The symptoms the players who are suing describe are not uncommon among former players-how much they are tied to a particular painkiller is going to be up for serious debate.




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