Investigation finds NFL tried to influence brain injury research

Missouri residents may be aware of a report issued by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone that finds that the National Football League improperly tried to influence a National Institutes of Health study on the connection between football and brain injuries. According to the senior House Democrat’s investigation, the NFL rescinded a $30 million donation to the NIH when it would not take $16 million of the donation away from Robert Stern, a Boston University researcher and expert on the relationship between football and brain injury.

It is the NIH’s policy that grants are awarded based on the peer review process and that donors cannot influence those decisions. Nonetheless, the NFL is denying any improper influence on its part.

The revelations contained in Pallone’s investigation lined up with critics’ arguments that the NFL has tried to cover up or cast doubt on the connection between playing football and suffering from brain injuries and diseases. In addition to the NFL’s attempt to sway the NIH’s decision, researchers with the league’s Head, Neck, and Spine Committee who had been critical of Stern’s work had also applied for funding.

An individual who has suffered a head injury or brain damage as a result of an employer’s negligence may be entitled to damages covering medical expenses as well as compensation for pain and suffering. An attorney who focuses his or her practice on personal injury cases might be able to negotiate a settlement with the defendant parties, draft and file legal complaints or represent the injured party in a court of law.