Marino, 52, who was the highest-profile former player involved in
legal action against the league over head injuries, said in a
statement issued to Sports Illustrated magazine that in the past
year he authorized a legal claim to be made on his behalf if he ever
needed medical coverage due to the long-term effects of
football-related head trauma.
"In so doing I did not realize I would be automatically listed as a
plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL," the former Miami Dolphins
star said in the statement.
"I have made the decision it is not necessary for me to be part of
any claims or this lawsuit and therefore I am withdrawing as a
plaintiff effective immediately," Marino said, adding that he is not
currently suffering from head injuries.
His longtime agent, Marvin Demoff, earlier said Marino would not
take part in the suit with 14 other ex-players filed last week in
U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. The suit alleges the NFL knew
there was a link between concussions and long-term health problems
for decades and hid information about "football-related brain
injuries" from players.
Marino spent his entire 17-year career with the Dolphins and set
numerous NFL passing records before retiring in 1999. He then spent
12 years as an NFL analyst for CBS Sports.
The other players in the suit asked for monetary damages to be
determined at a jury trial and for medical monitoring.
Each player submitted a short-form complaint with standard language
that they suffer from brain injuries and exhibit symptoms that have
developed over time but did not specify the nature of their
This latest filing follows a $760 million settlement between the NFL
and more than 4,500 former players over concussions that was
rejected in January by a U.S. judge who said it might not be enough
to pay all of the affected players.
Up to 20,000 former players could ultimately still be eligible for
payments over the settlement's 65-year span.
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That lawsuit, filed in 2012, contended that the league hid the
dangers of brain injury among players while profiting from the
sport's violent physical contact.
The NFL has contended that it never concealed information related to
head or brain injuries that might occur while playing in the league.
A growing body of academic research shows that repeated hits to the
head may produce a condition known as chronic traumatic
encephalopathy, which can lead to aggression and dementia.
The research already has prompted the NFL to make changes on the
field, including banning certain hits and requiring teams to keep
players who show concussion-like symptoms off the field.
NFL Hall of Fame players Eric Dickerson and Tony Dorsett also are
among the best-known ex-NFL players to have sued the league over
(Additional reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Bill
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