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More Congressional NFL Concussion Hearings Scheduled for January

One hour ago the Associated Press reported that The House Judiciary Committee is holding a second hearing on concussions in football on Jan. 4 in Detroit.

This hearing is a second session following testimony and a hearing held in October. Interestingly on the list of witnesses for this session is neurologist Ira Casson.  Casson did not appear at the October hearing and recently resigned as co-chairman of the NFL's concussion committee.

Also slated to appear next month at Wayne State University: NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, NCAA director of health and safety David Klossner, and Wayne State assistant professor of neurology Randall Benson.

Hopefully at the conclusion of these hearings, we will have a fuller understanding of where the league is now and where they are intending to go to protect players from the second impact syndrome and the permanent life long consequences of concussions.

Also, the committee needs to take a second look at the joint league-player disability plan and why retired players with diagnosed concussions and a litany of problems that are truly life altering are not receiving disability benefits that they so justifiably deserve.  Does the disability plan intend to reopen closed files and examine if players were unjustifiably denied disability benefits.  After all, the disability plan has been given the sole discretion in these issues by some federal court decisions, so now with all this new research and a new approach to this issue, doesn't it make sense that they reopen these files and grant deserving players with documented brain damage the disability benefits they are entitled to? 

What the judiciary committtee needs to do is take away the ERISA protections thata the disability plan is now afforded with.  It's time that these players get a full and fair hearing on their brain injury disability claims.

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Comments

Randall Benson, M.D.

Michael,

Great to see you blogging about this. The hearing went 6 hours yesterday and mine was number 9 beginning about 5pm, I think. Finally got to see Dr. No in action (Casson). I'm trying to get the NFL or NFLPA to realize that they need to fund an imaging study on active players and to follow them. As you saw last year we can see DAI now. No need to wait til autopsy. They will have CTE pathology.

They think it will go to the Senate next.

Hey, come visit Brad and I in Detroit!

Randy

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