In what’s being called a wave of concussion lawsuits, former NCAA football players are asking for damages for what they say was the mistreatment of their concussions during gameplay. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that this mistreatment led to the development of medical issues ranging from depression and headaches to early-onset Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Analysts say the outcome of these lawsuits will test the NCAA’s liability in sports injury incidents.
The first of these lawsuits, filed back in 2016, were met by an additional 200+ lawsuits filed recently both in Texas and Illinois. Sports law experts say that plaintiffs seeking out the same sorts of damages seen in the settlement against the NFL, which reaches into the billions, will see several obstacles, the least of which is proving that the NCAA caused the harm that resulted in the damages sought. It must also be shown that the NCAA also had a legal duty to the players in these cases to keep them from harm and that the NCAA fell short in that duty.
A previous sports injury lawsuit last year involving NCAA player concussions and their aftereffects was settled last year for $75 million. In this suit, the organization agreed to pay out $70 million for “medical monitoring for former college athletes” and $5 million earmarked for medical research. The suit also paid out $5,000 for damages to each individual player who claimed injuries. As part of the settlement, players agreed not to be a party to a large class-action lawsuit against the NCAA. Lawsuits of an individual nature were to be allowed on a “per school basis.”
Concussions are complex injury types; some people who are injured recover right away, while others need weeks for recovery, and some have long-term effects that result in permanent problems and even disabilities. If you have been injured in a sports-related accident, contact JML Law and our Los Angeles sports injury attorney right away to assess your case.
According to the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, concussions among student-athletes are all common. There are as many as 3 million concussions each year attributed to participation in sports. Approximately 300,000 of those occur playing football, although half of all concussions are not detected or go unreported.
Research published in 2017 in the medical journal Brain indicates that concussion, when combined with genetic factors, can accelerate the “cortical thickness and memory decline in Alzheimer’s disease.” Researchers say that even in injured parties who reported being to “shake off” their injuries quickly may end up with long-term negative health consequences that can be traced back to their concussions.
Concussions and sports injuries are nothing to take lightly. If you have experienced an injury playing organized football or other sports for a school or professional league, contact JML Law and our Los Angeles sports injury attorney at 818-610-8800 now to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.