Former San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints defensive back Paul Oliver committed suicide last year. Oliver, who was only 28 at the time of his death, shot himself in front of his wife and two sons last September at his home in Marietta, Georgia.

Now over a year removed from this tragedy, Oliver’s family is suing the NFL for wrongful death (via ESPN.com).

The suit alleges that his death was a “direct result of the injuries, depression and emotional suffering caused by repetitive head trauma and concussions suffered as a result of playing football, not properly appreciating football’s risks with respect to head trauma” and using defective helmets.

The family is also suing corporations that own several helmet manufacturers as well as the Saints and Chargers.

Following his death, a pathologist confirmed Oliver had (CTE) chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This is a brain disease that is most commonly found in athletes who have suffered multiple blows to the head during their playing careers. Among many other things, it leads to mood swings, spurts of anger, depression and apparently leads to suicidal toughts.

Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was diagnosed with CTE following his death, also a suicide, back in 2012.

It’s also a central part of the lawsuit that a wide array of former NFL players currently have going against the league, a lawsuit that could very well culminate with the largest settlement in the history of professional sports.

Photo: Business Weekly