NFL Allegedly Supplied Athletes With Risky Narcotics

500 former football players are suing the NFL claiming they were given painkillers illegally.
3:36 | 05/21/14

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Transcript for NFL Allegedly Supplied Athletes With Risky Narcotics
lawsuit against the NFL. Hundreds of players alleging they were given pain killing drugs illegally. And that the league put profits ahead of their health. ABC's Jim Avila has that story for us. Good morning, Jim. Reporter: Good morning. 500 former football players, including super bowl winning bears quarterback, Jim Mcmahon, and dent, lead the big names suing the NFL. The players claimed the NFL created a culture of drug misuse, substituting players' health for profits. Supplying them with risky painkillers to numb their injuries so they could return to the playing field. Jim Mcmahon now suffers from dementia. According to the suit, NFL doctors didn't tell him he suffered a broken neck from plays like this. And he played on for years without proper treatment and lots of drugs. The players claim the league supports a drug culture, portrayed in "North Dallas 40." And Richard dent is known for speed and sacking. Today, he only moves fast in his customized golf cart. His foot destroyed, he says, by the NFL drug policy. Dent says the team used a stream of prescription painkillers. A lot of stuff would just be in a bowl. You know? Then, it became too, you know -- you asking or a trainer giving you stuff. Reporter: D.j. Hill, a former Buffalo bill, is suing, too. He says the rampant and random use of drugs in the NFL got him addicted. We would never know what we really were taking at times. And I could stand by that on oath. Reporter: The NFL says it's too early to comment. Was only just made aware of it just briefly. But I don't believe any of our attorneys have had an opportunity to look at. And as you know, I've been in meetings all day. Reporter: This is the second big legal hit for the NFL coming from its own former players. The league has agreed to pay $760 million to settle that concussion suit. Robin? Thank you, Jim. And ABC's chief legal affairs anchor, Dan Abrams, joins us now. What is the difference between that lawsuit and this one? This one is theoretically more dangerous to the league because it could encompass a lot more retired players. You're talking about anybody prescribed as little as an aspirin, being part of this class of people. That's what makes this a tough case. This is a compelling argument that they put forward. Meaning, they talk about individuals and their suffering, et cetera. But that's a public policy argument. It's going to be a lot tougher legally, I think, in this case. What are the major hurdles for the players? They have a problem of making them all one class of people so they can sue together. They have statute of limitations problems. They have assumption of risk. They have can you prove what caused the injuries? There's a lot of issues that could be big problems for the players. What would be their strongest argument? That they were lied to. That's going to involve individual players. Fraud and concealment. You have a problem of putting all of the players under that, as opposed to just a few. 500 players right now. That's right. And could grow. That would be the big question. Can you have all of them together? We're going to turn to

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