Five former Kansas City Chiefs sued the team Tuesday for not warning them of the long-term dangers of concussions they say they received during their playing days.
The suit, filed in circuit court in Jackson County, Mo., is one of the first concussion-related cases against a specific N.F.L. team, and may lead to other suits.
The case against the Chiefs echoes the suits brought by thousands of N.F.L. retirees, who accused the league of negligence and fraud and sought actual and punitive damages.
In August, the N.F.L. agreed to pay $765 million to settle those cases and avoid what was sure to be a lengthy, costly and embarrassing trial. The league did not admit that it hid information on the long-term effects of head trauma from its players, as was claimed in the original complaint.
In settling the case before going to trial, the league left the door open for retirees to make other legal challenges.
The case by the five former Chiefs seeks to exploit a critical question unanswered in the suits against the N.F.L.: whether concussion-related cases should be heard by an arbitrator under the auspices of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Alexander Cooper, Leonard Griffin, Christopher Martin, Joseph Phillips and Kevin Porter, the plaintiffs, played all or parts of their careers from August 1987 to March 1993, when there was no collective bargaining agreement.
They also sued the Chiefs, and not the league, because under Missouri law, employees can sue...