The number of class action concussion lawsuits filed against the NCAA continues to rise. According to an article in USA Today, on November 11, former Kansas fullback Christopher Powell filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Western Missouri accusing the NCAA of failing to fulfill its obligation to protect college athletes and seeking damages and medical monitoring.
According to Powell’s lawsuit, during his collegiate football career from 1990-1994, the former student athlete suffered four documented concussions, one of which resulted in 48 hours of memory loss.
The factual allegations included in Powell’s lawsuit are similar to other previously filed lawsuits against the NCAA. Powell’s lawsuit seek class certification for those former NCAA football players who suffered concussions or concussion-like symptoms during their careers, who did not play in the NFL, and who have developed medical problems since their football career ended.
Seventh NCAA Concussion Lawsuit Filed
Most recently, on November 18, former Georgia Tech defensive back Jerry Caldwell and former University of Georgia player Johnny Brown sued the NCAA saying that they both received hits to the head and suffered multiple concussions that resulted in long-term medical problems. USA Today reports that this case is at least the seventh class action lawsuit filed against the NCAA in federal court regarding the NCAA’s handling of concussions, the first of which was filed by former Eastern Illinois defensive back Adrian Arrington in 2011.
In September, three former college football players filed a class action lawsuit against the NCAA, accusing the collegiate athletic association of failing to educate players about the risks associated with concussions and for failing to take adequate measures to prevent, diagnose, and treat brain injuries. This lawsuit seeks a court-supervised, NCAA-funded medical monitoring program for the lifelong risks of brain injury since “monetary damages alone cannot compensate [plaintiffs] for the increased risks of long-term physical and economic losses associated with brain injury.”
Lawyers for Arrington have requested that subsequent lawsuits be consolidated with its lawsuit, a request that has been opposed by lawyers for the other plaintiff groups. The Arrington lawsuit is currently in mediation, with a hearing set for December 5 before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to decide whether to consolidate the cases and assign a venue.
As we reported, in September, former professional football players reached a $765-million settlement of concussion-related lawsuits with the NFL, which accused the NFL of failing to properly treat players for traumatic head injuries, including concussions, and concealing the link between football and head injuries. The players alleged that the NFL knew of the harmful risks associated with multiple concussions as early as the 1920s, but did not disclose this information to players until 2010.
Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, have been linked to a number of lifelong medical problems, including depression, fatigue, sleep problems, and increased risk for stroke. Athletes are especially susceptible to repeat head injuries. In fact, an athlete who suffers a concussion is up to four times more likely to sustain a second concussion, according to neurologists. When a football player returns to play before he has fully recovered from the initial concussion, the athlete is at serious risk for secondary impact syndrome (SIS), which can result in massive swelling of the brain and, in some cases, may lead to a loss of blood flow to the brain, which can place the athletes at an increased risk for learning difficulties and other neuropsychological difficulties.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, contact the Chicago head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible cause of action.