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Reports: Dan Marino withdraws from concussion lawsuit

By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Former NFL quarterback Dan Marino has withdrawn from a suit against the NFL. The suit says the league knew for years there was a link between concussions and long-term health problems. Scientists believe repeated head trauma can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. Symptoms include depression, aggression, and disorientation, but so far scientists can only definitively diagnose it after death. Here are a few of the former athletes who have been diagnosed with CTE. Former NFL quarterback Dan Marino has withdrawn from a suit against the NFL. The suit says the league knew for years there was a link between concussions and long-term health problems. Scientists believe repeated head trauma can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. Symptoms include depression, aggression, and disorientation, but so far scientists can only definitively diagnose it after death. Here are a few of the former athletes who have been diagnosed with CTE.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Florida paper reports Dan Marino didn't realize he would be part of new lawsuit
  • NEW: Hall of Fame quarterback releases statement saying he has no current head injuries
  • Group of now 14 ex-players is latest to sue the NFL

(CNN) -- Dan Marino, considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in National Football League history, is withdrawing his name from a concussion lawsuit against the NFL, according to published reports.

The news, first reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, comes a day after media reports that the Hall of Fame quarterback and 14 other players had filed a lawsuit that claims the NFL knew for years of a link between concussions and long-term health problems and did nothing about it.

Marino, 52, said he didn't realize his name would be attached to the lawsuit.

"Within the last year I authorized a claim to be filed on my behalf just in case I needed future medical coverage to protect me and my family in the event I later suffered from the effects of head trauma," the former Miami Dolphins star wrote in a statement published in the Sun Sentinel and on Sports Illustrated's website.

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Marino said his name was "automatically" attached to the suit, which asks for a jury to decide monetary damages and seeks medical monitoring for the former players.

Each player submitted a brief complaint with standard language saying they suffer from brain injuries and exhibit symptoms that have developed over time.

"I am sympathetic to other players who are seeking relief who may have suffered head injuries. I also disclaim any references in the form complaint of current head injuries," he said.

The Sun Sentinel reported that Marino has said he only had two concussions in his 17 seasons.

Marino was considered one of the most durable quarterbacks in the NFL and once started 99 games in a row. Known for a quick release and not getting sacked, he still holds several NFL records. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

He did not return CNN's repeated calls for comment.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had no comment on the lawsuit.

Other former players involved in the suit are Richard Bishop, Ethan Johnson, Chris Dugan, Anthony Grant, Mark Green, LaCurtis Jones, John Huddleston, Erik Affholter, Toddrick McIntosh, Dwight Wheeler, Jackie Wallace, Moses Moreno, Peter Manning and Bruce Clark.

Had Marino remained a party to the suit, he would have been one of the most high-profile former players among thousands who are suing or have sued the league through many different legal filings. After his career, Marino worked as an NFL analyst for HBO and CBS.

In the biggest concussion case, the NFL and at least 4,500 players proposed a $765 million settlement but a federal judge declined in January to approve the figure, saying she didn't think it was enough money.

The estimated 20,000 class members over the settlement's 65-year lifespan would include former players with early dementia, moderate dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and/or death with a postmortem diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disorder.

Sports Illustrated reported that Marino would be eligible for benefits from that lawsuit.

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CNN's Marcus Hooper and Jill Martin contributed to this report.

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