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Alex Karras is lead plaintiff in latest concussion lawsuit against NFL

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Karras played for the Lions in the 1960's. (Getty Images)
Before Alex Karras starred as George Papadapolis in Webster and Mongo in Blazing Saddles, he was a three-time All-Pro defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions. And now he's the lead plaintiff in the latest lawsuit against the NFL.

Karras, his wife Susan Clark and 117 other individuals filed a complaint in the US District Court in Philadelphia on Thursday, alleging the NFL didn't do enough to protect the players named (70 total) from head injuries.

"All through the time that I've been with him, he has suffered headaches and dizziness and high blood pressure and all kinds of things that are ... usually the result of multiple concussions," Clark told the Associated Press.

Karras was, per Clark, was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago.

"This physical beating that he took as a football player has impacted his life, and therefore it has impacted his family life," Clark said. "He is interested in making the game of football safer and hoping that other families of retired players will have a healthier and happier retirement."

One of the attorneys for Karras, Craig Mitnick, claims the NFL "misled players," "was negligent," and "deliberately withheld information that could have protected these players and ... could have changed the way their lives were lived."

Mitnick did not make Karras available for an interview with the AP. Likewise, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined to comment to the AP.

Karras case is different than most concussion- and health-related lawsuits we've seen against the NFL though: he's a legitimately famous and high-profile plaintiff who's recognized by people outside the world of football.

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