Dallas Cowboys

Concussion claim against NFL filed on behalf of legendary broadcaster Pat Summerall

Longtime CBS and Fox broadcaster Pat Summerall, left, worked with John Madden for much of his 40 years of calling NFL games. He died in April 2013.
Longtime CBS and Fox broadcaster Pat Summerall, left, worked with John Madden for much of his 40 years of calling NFL games. He died in April 2013. AP Photo

The widow of legendary broadcaster Pat Summerall filed a concussion claim with the NFL earlier this month.

Cheri Summerall, the wife of the former NFL placekicker and longtime CBS and Fox sportscaster filed a claim with the league on Sept. 8 to show solidarity with other former players who are looking for compensation for concussion-related ailments.

Summerall died of cardiac arrest on April 16, 2013 at age 82 at St. Paul University Hospital in Dallas.

Attorny James Acho filed the claim on behalf of the Summerall estate for football-related dementia, of which Summerall was diagnosed by Dr. Kyle Womack at UT Southwestern. The claim seeks monetary compensation, although considering Summerall’s age when he was diagnosed it’s unlikely to be a substantial amount, Acho said.

“I filed the claim because it is what Pat wanted, and even though Pat was not in the same financial dire straits that many of his former colleagues are, he always felt all for one, one for all,” Acho said via email. “He felt a deep sense of esprit de corps with his fellow ex-players.”

The NFL agreed to pay $1 billion to more than 20,000 former players for concussion-related medical issues in 2016.

“Pat died two years after the concussion lawsuit was filed and he totally supported it and this is what he wanted,” Acho said.

Cheri Summerall said her late husband “harbored no bitterness toward the NFL,” but he supported the lawsuit filed in 2012.

“Pat supported this lawsuit when it was filed and as it turns out became a plaintiff himself when he was diagnosed,” Cheri Summerall said. “Pat believed the men who built the game should be taken care of and that’s why we filed this. It was out of principle. It is also a show of support for the cause at large.”

Summerall, who was a placekicker in the NFL for 10 years, grew into prominence in the late 1970s as a member of the No. 1 broadcast team for CBS and later Fox with partner John Madden.

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