NEW ORLEANS - Roosevelt “Rosey” Taylor, a former football star from New Orleans, is seeking damages from the National Football League for concussions and head injuries he suffered during his 13-year professional career, according to a lawsuit filed this week in federal court.
Taylor, 75, claims the NFL failed to warn and protect him and others from the long-term risks associated with repeated concussions.
Taylor, a standout at Grambling State University and a Pro Bowl defensive back for the Chicago Bears in the 1960s, represents a growing number of former NFL players suing the league for its alleged failure to monitor, investigate and manage head injuries.
“Rosie Taylor has had problems … there are a lot of things he doesn’t remember, people he doesn’t know anymore,” said his attorney, Herbert Cade, of New Orleans.
“Some might attribute this to aging, but he has had his lights knocked out so many times. We are exploring to what extent he has been damaged by concussions.”
Riddell Inc., a company that manufactures football helmets, is also named as a defendant in Taylor’s case. The NFL has vowed to defend itself against the lawsuits filed by hundreds of former players.
In July, former New Orleans Saints cornerback Randall Gay and other plaintiffs filed a similar concussion lawsuit in federal court in New Orleans. They alleged they developed physical or mental maladies from concussions and that the NFL did little to advise them of the risks. Earlier this year, a dozen former players living in Louisiana, including former Saints player John Fourcade, levied the same claim.
Taylor’s lawsuit will likely be moved to federal court in Pennsylvania, where a multi-jurisdictional panel is to take up all the concussion cases against the NFL at once, said Taylor’s attorney. Many of these lawsuits have already been consolidated there in court.
Taylor began his career with the Chicago Bears in 1961. He later played for the San Franciso 49ers and the Washington Redskin, and retired in 1972. He is a member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife currently reside in the city.