Widow Of Chargers Player Paul Oliver Sues NFL Over His Death

The widow of deceased San Diego Chargers defensive back Paul Oliver sued the NFL Monday, claiming football-related head injuries lead to his suicide.
Posted at 3:51 AM, Sep 24, 2014

The widow of deceased San Diego Chargers defensive back Paul Oliver sued the National Football League Monday, claiming football-related head injuries Oliver sustained while playing lead to his suicide last year.   

Paul Oliver's wife, Chelsea, filed a lawsuit with Los Angeles County Superior Court against the NFL and several companies behind the manufacturing of the helmets used in the league.

Her filing reads: "The NFL ignored, minimized and disputed the long-term health risks players were exposed to because of repeated head collisions."

Oliver was 29 when he shot and killed himself in front of his wife and two sons last year at their Atlanta home. His career in the NFL came to a close in 2011.

According to the police report on his death obtained by CNN, Oliver was feeling "depressed about his career being over" and was going through "marital issues" leading up to his death.

The lawsuit also claims that before his death, Oliver was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy — or CTE — a debilitating brain disease that's caused by repeated blows to the head. 

CTE is the same disease former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau suffered from before he committed suicide in 2012.

A study published in the journal Brain from December of 2012 looked at the brains of 34 deceased pro football players and found signs of CTE in all but one of them.

Last August, the NFL agreed to pay 4,500 players and their families $765 million after former players claimed the league didn't do enough to prevent concussions and withheld knowledge about the dangers of them.

This video contains images from Getty Images / Jamie Squire, Doug Pensinger, Stephen Dunn, Donald Miralle.