The suicide of Ray Easterling, a former safety for the Atlanta Falcons, has changed one of the 61 personal injury lawsuits against the NFL to a wrongful death case, his lawyer announced earlier this week.
Easterling played professional football in the 1970s and set the record for fewest points allowed in a season back in 1977. He was found dead due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Friends and family say his memory had begun to deteriorate greatly six months prior to his death.
More than 1,200 players have filed lawsuits against the NFL for what they say is intentional misconduct, carelessness, and concealment of information about the long-term damage from concussions. Easterling and seven other former players were the first to file a lawsuit.