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Originally published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM

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Seau's family sues league over suicide

Add Junior Seau's family to the thousands of people who are suing the NFL over the long-term damage caused by concussions. Seau's ex-wife and four...

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Add Junior Seau's family to the thousands of people who are suing the NFL over the long-term damage caused by concussions.

Seau's ex-wife and four children sued the league Wednesday, saying the former linebacker's suicide was the result of brain disease caused by violent hits he suffered while playing football.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in San Diego, blames the NFL for its "acts or omissions" that hid the dangers of repetitive blows to the head. It says Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from those hits, and accuses the NFL of deliberately ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries.

Seau died at 43 of a self-inflicted gunshot in May. He was diagnosed with CTE, based on posthumous tests, earlier this month.

An Associated Press review in November found that more than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in at least 175 cases as the concussion issue has gained attention in recent years. The total number of plaintiffs is 6,000 when spouses, relatives and other representatives are included.

Scores of the concussion lawsuits have been brought together before U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody in Philadelphia.

Helmet manufacturer Riddell also is a defendant.

Payton returns

MOBILE, Ala. — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton watched Senior Bowl practices on his first day back at work after a nearly yearlong suspension for his role in the team's bounty program.

Payton said he and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell agreed not to discuss specifics about whether there was an organized bounty system or of their 4 ½-hour meeting Monday.

"We're at a point where it's time for closure. It's time for us as a team, it's time for us as a league, to take this next step forward," Payton said.

Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams remains suspended indefinitely. Payton said he has not spoken to Williams and "I have no interest in talking to Gregg."

Notes

• San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore was fined $10,500 by the NFL after he wore his socks too low in Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Atlanta, a uniform violation.

• The NFL fined New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady $10,000 for an "aggressive slide" in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against Baltimore.

• The NFC team ended its first Pro Bowl practice in Honolulu by breaking the huddle and shouting, "Win." One night earlier, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning asked his fellow all-stars to play the game hard. Players on both sides pledged to play more determined in a game with a reputation of being taken less seriously than exhibitions.

The future of the game to be held Sunday is uncertain. The contest was almost not scheduled this year after players faced blowback from Goodell and fans for clearly not trying last year.

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