Ex-NFL Players Sue Helmet Maker Riddell, Claim Company Knew About Concussion Risks

Russell Wilson wearing Riddell helmet
Rob Carr/Getty Images

In 2013 the NFL settled a lawsuit with former football players in regards to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, otherwise known as CTE. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease that afflicts the brains of people who have suffered repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Most recently it's been the subject of discussion about football players.

But there's one lawsuit that isn't close to being settled, and it's one that was filed by 1,000 ex-NFL players against helmet-maker Riddell.


According to the lawsuit, Riddell knew about the risks of concussion but failed to do anything about it. The NFL players wore the Riddell helmets from 1989 to 2013.

“There have been many new documents that have been found," the players’ lead lawyer, Jason Luckasevic, told the New York Post. Luckasevic says that the potential verdict against the company could put an end to Riddell.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include former New York Giant Leonard Marshall, Miami Dolphin Mark Duper and Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett.

Marshall says that he currently suffers from CTE and that, had he known about the helmets, he would have found a better one.


“I go one to three times a week to a hyperbaric chamber. I go into a bubble and get pure oxygen into the brain,” Marshall said.

“Parkinson’s and long-term dementia scare the s—t out of me,” he said.

According to the lawsuit, other helmet manufacturers approached the NFL about helmets that were better options than Riddell's, but the NFL didn't switch to any of them. Luckasevic plans on putting representatives from the other companies on the stand if the case goes to trial.


The NFL ended its partnership with Riddell at the end of the 2013 NFL season.

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