The best Bills defensive player to ever play the game is now suing the NFL.
Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith, who played 19 seasons for the Bills and Redskins, filed a lawsuit against the NFL on Thursday over concussions sustained during his career.
Smith's suit was among five concussion lawsuits filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the concussion litigation is being consolidated. Four of the lawsuits are wrongful death claims.
There are now 112 lawsuits involving 2,770 former players, according to a review of each by The Washington Times. Smith, 49, is the 22nd Hall of Famer to sue over concussions.
Drafted out of Virginia Tech by the Bills with the first overall pick in 1985, Smith reached double-digit sacks in 13 seasons and finished with a team record 171 sacks in a Buffalo uniform. He played 15 seasons in Buffalo before signing as a free agent with the Redskins in 2000.
Smith declined comment through a spokesman Friday.
Like the other lawsuits, this one claims the NFL concealed the long-term effects of concussions. The NFL maintains the lawsuits are without merit.
Similar language is used for each of the 37 plaintiffs in Smith's lawsuit: "As a result of the head trauma suffered during his playing career, Bruce Smith suffers from symptoms associated with multiple traumatic brain injury and CTE."