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Family of College Football Hall of Famer Sues Helmet Maker

While Rickey Dixon’s family mourns his loss, they seek to keep fighting for justice and the protections he was promised on the field.

DALLAS—Waters Kraus & Paul is saddened to announce the passing of Rickey Dixon. Dixon, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and a six-year NFL veteran, passed away on August 1, 2020, at his home in DeSoto, Texas, following a courageous six-year battle with ALS.

Dixon was a standout defensive back at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of the 1985 national championship team. In 1987, Dixon was named an All-American and was a co-winner of the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the top defensive back in college football. While at Oklahoma, Dixon had seventeen interceptions, the second highest career amount in school history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Following his standout collegiate career, Dixon was selected fifth overall in the 1988 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He spent six seasons in the NFL with the Bengals and the Los Angeles Raiders, and played in Super Bowl XXIII as a member of the Bengals.

After retiring from the NFL, Dixon owned his own landscaping business and was a motivational speaker. He leaves behind his wife, Lorraine, and four children. During this difficult time, the Dixon family requests their privacy.

Waters Kraus & Paul originally worked with Dixon relating to his involvement with a class action lawsuit against the NFL regarding concussions. Recently, the firm filed a suit on behalf of Dixon’s family against both Riddell, a football helmet manufacturer, and the NCAA.

The suit against Riddell alleges strict liability for design defect and failure to warn, as well as negligence and misrepresentation. The complaint states that Dixon—who wore Riddell helmets during his college and professional career—did not know of the long-term impact of repeated hits to the head and neck and allege that he “reasonably and naturally” relied on Riddell to provide protection.

In the multi-count suit against the NCAA—which includes allegations of negligence, fraud by concealment, and breach of express contract—the complaint underscores the
important duty the NCAA owes collegiate athletes to protect them from serious injuries arising out of their participation in intercollegiate athletics, and details the NCAA’s decades-long knowledge about the dangers posed to football players by repetitive hits to the head.

The lawsuit against Riddell and the NCAA was filed on July 28, 2020, in Dallas County, Texas.

About Waters Kraus, LLP

Waters Kraus & Paul is a national plaintiffs’ law firm devoted to helping families in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving asbestos and mesothelioma, benzene exposure, dangerous pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and birth defects caused by pesticides, toxic chemicals, opioid use, and semiconductor chip manufacturing. The law firm also represents plaintiffs in qui tam whistleblower matters and cases that uncover false claims submitted to the government. Based in Dallas, Texas, with offices in Los Angeles, California, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and by appointment in Moline, Illinois, Waters Kraus & Paul has represented families from all fifty states and many foreign countries, as well as foreign governments.

Waters Kraus & Paul is the West Coast practice of Waters & Kraus, LLP, a national plaintiffs’ law firm.

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