10 21 2014
  11:32 am  
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

(CNN) -- A unified lawsuit on behalf of more than 2,000 National Football League players has been filed against the league in federal court alleging that the NFL failed to acknowledge and address neurological risks associated with the sport and then deliberately failed to tell players about the risks they faced, according to attorneys representing former players.

The complaint, filed in federal court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, unites the more than 80 pending lawsuits filed against the NFL.

"I firmly believe the NFL could have and should have done more to protect Ray. That's why I am seeking to hold the NFL accountable," Mary Ann Easterling, widow of former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, who committed suicide in April after suffering for years from dementia, said in a press release. "Having lived through Ray's struggle, I desperately hope and pray others can be spared the pain and suffering we have endured -- and still endure every day."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthey acknowledged the filing, but added that there was nothing new to the claim other than that it merges them all in one place.

"Our legal team will review today's filing that is intended to consolidate plaintiffs' existing claims into one "master" complaint," he said. "The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL sought to mislead players has no merit. It stands in contrast to the league's many actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions."

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