Court to decide if college concussion lawsuit can continue

The Ohio state Supreme Court will decide whether a widow can proceed with a lawsuit over claims that her husband suffered catastrophic injuries while playing football for Notre Dame in the 1970s. The former player was suffering from dementia and the early onset of Alzheimer's when he filed a lawsuit with his wife in Ohio in October of 2014. They named Notre Dame and the NCAA as defendants and claimed that these institutions displayed reckless disregard for the safety of football players by not educating and protecting players from concussions.

The plaintiffs claimed that the NCAA waited until 2010 before requiring colleges to prepare concussion protocols requiring removal of an athlete from a game or practice and medical evaluation, even though the dangers were known.

The Cleveland Clinic diagnosed the former player with chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 2012. Known as "CTE," this brain disease is caused by receiving numerous concussions. He died in February of 2015.

A trial court judge earlier ruled that the lawsuit was not timely filed within the legal deadline. An appeals court then overturned that ruling. The state Supreme Court is reviewing the case and heard oral argument earlier this month.

The deceased player's attorneys argued that he was unaware of his exposure to the risk of brain disease from head concussions while he played college football. The deceased and Notre Dame did not recognize injury symptoms that should be monitored or treated, according to the attorney.

A consolidated case of 100 lawsuits brought by athletes over football-related injuries is ongoing against universities, conferences and the NCAA. The NFL entered a $1 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit in 2015 over charges that it hid the risk of concussions.

Proving these injuries requires factual and medical proof and experience with these lawsuits. An attorney can help victims seek accident compensation for a head injury caused by negligence.

Source: Claims Journal, "Ohio high court to decide if ex-player can sue over concussions," Andrew Welsh-Huggins, April 12, 2018

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