he family of former San Diego Chargers star Junior Seau, who killed himself last year, sued the National Football League on Wednesday, claiming that his suicide resulted from brain disease caused by repeated hits to the head during his football career.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in San Diego Superior Court by Seau’s children and ex-wife, as well as the trustee of his estate, also claims that the NFL concealed the risks of brain damage in the sport, court documents showed, Reuters reports.
An NFL spokesman, Greg Aiello, told Reuters the league’s attorneys would review the lawsuit and respond to the claims appropriately through the court.
Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Chargers and two other teams, died in May 2012 after shooting himself in the chest at his beachfront house in his hometown of Oceanside, California.
A study by a team of independent researchers released earlier this month found that Seau, 43, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE – the same debilitating brain disease diagnosed in at least two other former NFL players who committed suicide.
The NFL has previously said the result of the examination of Seau’s brain underscored “the recognized need for additional research to accelerate a fuller understanding of CTE.” NFL clubs have already committed a $30 million research grant to the National Institutes of Health.