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Concussion Lawsuits Are Next Litigation Issue

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Smokers and pro football players have something in common: They engage in risky behavior that can be potentially harmful to their health over time.

And to hear some lawyers tell it, the National Football League is the equivalent of Big Tobacco.

More than 2,400 retired players are now plaintiffs, looking for the kind of success smokers had against the tobacco companies. The result then was a landmark, $206-billion settlement shared among 46 states.

At issue is whether the NFL knew if there were any links between football-related head trauma and permanent brain injuries and failed to take appropriate action.

Attorneys for former players accuse the NFL of negligence and intentional misconduct.

The league has consistently and strongly denied the claims.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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