NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who passed away earlier this year, is confirmed to have tested positive for signs of long-term brain damage. He is the latest former football player to have been confirmed to have suffered these consequences.
The NFL has been pressured to change its rules in an attempt to lessen head impacts as scientific research points toward concussions and repeated blows to the head as one of the causes of lasting damage.
One thing that is known is that many former football players suffer later in life from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The symptoms of the disease are similar to Alzheimer's and it can only be diagnosed by performing an autopsy.
The Hall of Fame player and longtime football announcer Frank Gifford is the latest high-profile player to have been diagnosed with the disease as reported by ABC News in "Former NFL Player Frank Gifford Suffered From CTE, Says Family."
Many former players and their families have sued the NFL claiming that the league did not do enough to protect players from head injuries. The Gifford family, however, has decided not do that. Instead, they will work with the NFL's efforts to prevent future injuries. For some estates that might not be an option.
While an executor normally has a legal obligation to pursue any potential claims, it may not be necessary if beneficiaries are against pursuing the claims.
Reference: ABC News (Nov. 25, 2015) "Former NFL Player Frank Gifford Suffered From CTE, Says Family."