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NFL Legend Paul Hornung Files Lawsuit Against Helmet Maker Riddell


The Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio and the Brad Sohn Florida Law Firm have filed a lawsuit on behalf of NFL Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy Winner Paul Hornung against helmet maker Riddell, claiming the plastic helmet he was provided failed to protect his brain and that Riddell failed to warn him of the helmets’ risks.  

Corboy & Demetrio represents numerous former professional athletes in cases stemming from concussions suffered during their careers, including the Estates of Chicago Bear Dave Duerson, Chicago Blackhawk Steve Montador and NHL Enforcer Derek Boogaard.

Hornung’s negligence lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, claims the helmet provided “no protection for Paul Hornung’s brain, yet players, including Paul Hornung, were led to believe that the innovative helmets would do so.”  Hornung suffered numerous concussions during his professional career and has been diagnosed with Dementia, a neurodegenerative disease linked to repetitive head trauma.

“Players like Paul Hornung played with a false sense of security.  Their helmets did nothing to prevent the types of brain injuries that lead to long-term brain damage.  But, Riddell never warned these guys about the real risk of permanent cognitive and mental health issues,” said Thomas A. Demetrio, founder of Corboy & Demetrio. 

Hornung won the Heisman Trophy in 1956, while playing in a leather helmet for the University of Notre Dame. In the NFL, he played running back for Green Bay Packers from 1957 to 1966, leading the league in scoring for three straight seasons and winning four NFL titles and the first Super Bowl, all while wearing a plastic Riddell helmet.

“Studies dating back to the 19th century linked head trauma to permanent brain damage, but Riddell failed to communicate the danger to Mr. Hornung,” said William T. Gibbs of Corboy & Demetrio, who is also representing Hornung and his wife Angela.  

“As Calvin Johnson told ESPN today, concussions happen in the NFL as frequently as every third play. Clearly, the helmets that Riddell provides do little to protect NFL players from this risk,” Gibbs added.

Case information: Case# 2016L006686; Paul Hornung and Angela Hornung v. Riddell Sports Group, Inc.

About Corboy & Demetrio

Corboy & Demetrio is one of the nation's premier law firms. The personal injury law firm represents individuals and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases and is renowned for its achievements in the courtroom and for its contributions to the community. The firm has acquired nearly $4 billion in settlements and verdicts and has attained almost 600 settlements and verdicts in excess of $1 million. To contact Thomas Demetrio or William Gibbs, call 312-346-3191 or toll free at 800-356-3191. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about our law firm go to

Media contact:

Helen Lucaitis, Corboy & Demetrio, 312-550-2077,

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