Former Viking Christian Ballard sues players union

NEW YORK - Former NFL players Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks are suing the union for not providing accurate information about the risk of head injuries.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, with both claiming the NFL Players Association "withheld information from the players about the risks of head injuries."

Ballard and Westbrooks named former union presidents Trace Armstrong, Troy Vincent and Kevin Mawae in the suit.

An NFLPA statement says: "This lawsuit has no merit and we will defend our union and our past presidents."

Ballard, a defensive end in 2011 and 2012, left the Vikings last September. Coincidentally, he is being represented by the union in a grievance concerning about $240,000 in 2013 salary. He abruptly left Vikings training camp in Mankato in August of 2013, saying later that football wasn't fun for him anymore.

Westbrooks, now 61, played parts of seven seasons from 1975-81 as a linebacker and special teamer with four clubs.


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