Multiple media outlets are reporting that Pro Football Hall of Famer, former Heisman Trophy winner and Louisville native Paul Hornung sued equipment manufacturer Riddell Inc. on Thursday, saying football helmets that he wore during his professional career in the 1950s and ’60s failed to protect him from brain injury.
Attorneys for Hornung, 80, filed the civil lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, naming the Rosemont-based company as the defendant. It seeks unspecified damages.
Hornung suffered multiple concussions as a running back for the Green Bay Packers and has been diagnosed with dementia, the lawsuit says. It said that the neurodegenerative disease has been linked to repetitive head trauma.
The following statement from Hornung is in response to requests for additional comment relating to the suit he filed against Riddell Inc.:
“The main reason for bringing this lawsuit is to use my name and experience to alert former players and warn every current NFL player, every college and high school player and every little tyke playing on the football field that brain injury is real and that the head should never be used as a weapon. It is my hope that this case shines a bright spotlight on the helmet industry to ensure that it works diligently to protect players from harm.
“Football is a fantastic sport and the lifelong friends and benefits I have derived are immeasurable. However, the issues I deal with on a daily basis have truly adversely affected my life. If my experience can help others, then I feel a responsibility to continue to do everything in my power to do so. That responsibility includes pursuing this lawsuit and working with the Brain Injury, Dementia, and Alzheimer National Associations to bring any information we learn in this case to light and championing the cause of brain protection.”