The Tampa Bay Buccaneers inducted Jimmie Giles into their Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium two years ago.
Now, the former tight end is suing the Buccaneers – and others – over concussions he says he suffered during his playing career. Giles and former Bucs offensive lineman Arron Sears are the primary names in a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, according to the Tampa Tribune.
While hundreds of former players have taken action against the NFL, claiming the league hid the dangers of concussions, in this instance a suit has been filed against individual clubs. Also named in the suits are the NFL, helmet manufacturer Riddell and the Dolphins, Lions, Eagles and Titans.
Giles has dealt with knee, back and neck issues since his playing days ended but he blames concussions for a failed career as a financial planner.
“All of the sudden, one day, man, I couldn't remember where in the heck I was,” Giles said during an interview two years ago. “I had to give that business up because it required a lot of thinking. I'm dealing with people and their lives and fortunes.”
Sears, who now lives with his parents in Alabama, and Donald Smith, another former Bucs player are also involved in the suit. The players are seeking damages from their injuries and blame the defendants for failing to “take effective action to protect players and/or failure to inform players of the true risks associated with concussions, brain injuries and brain trauma.”
Per the report, the Bucs declined comment on the lawsuit. The league maintains that this claim – and all of the others – do not have a basis because the NFL has been pro-active when it comes to player safety.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune