Lawyer says Ex-Bear Gale Sayers dropping suit against NFL

Lawyer says Ex-Bear Gale Sayers dropping suit against NFL

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

An attorney who sued the NFL and Rosemont-based helmet maker Riddell on behalf of Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers said Saturday that he plans to withdraw the suit at the behest of the former player's family.

Attorney John F. Winters Jr. said he was contacted Saturday by a family member of Sayers, who said the former Chicago Bear would like to have the suit voluntarily dismissed.

On Friday, Winters filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Chicago, accusing the NFL and Riddell of failing to prevent repeated head injuries Sayers suffered while playing the game, that have since led to brain damage.

Sayers sufferes headaches, occasional short-term memory loss and other cognitive deficits from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the court filing claimed.

The suit came a month after the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with a group of former players who also suffer brain damage.

According to the Winters, Sayers contacted the him last Tuesday, though he added that attorney-client privilege prevented him from discussing much of their conversation.

"I was contact by Gale Sayers," said Winters, a personal injury lawyer who has not represented the former football player before. "After discussing the mater with Mr. Sayers at length, a lawsuit was filed on his behalf."

Sayers, who played for the Bears from 1965 to 1972, could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

Winters said he anticipates filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit sometime in the coming weeks.

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