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Former Raven sues NFL for fraud, conspiracy, negligence

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Matt Lawrence, a free agent since March after spending two seasons on the Injured Reserve list, is suing the National Football League for fraud, conspiracy and negligence for concealing the risks of long-term damage from head injuries. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore by the law firm of Fick & May in Towson, seeks unspecified damages and medical monitoring.

Lawrence, who joined the Ravens for the 2009 season, sustained a season-ending knee injury that year after playing in eight games, sat out the 2010 season and returned to the preseason practice field in 2011, only to be put back on the Injured Reserve list, with a concussion, in August 2011.

About 120 concussion-related suits have been filed against the NFL, involving approximately 3,000 former players.

Lawrence’s action was filed Wednesday, one week after the Centers for Disease Control reported that retired NFL players are three times as likely as the general population to die from a neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Also last week, the NFL said it will donate $30 million for unrestricted medical research to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.