More Lawsuits Against the NCAA - What You Need to Know
In January of this year, the NCAA was once again named the defendant in legal action. This time, it was dozens of new lawsuits from names that very few will even know. However, it brings to light that more former players across all divisions of college football are facing the difficulties associated with head trauma suffered during their time in the game.
The new lawsuits add to the countless others that have been filed against the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is already facing hundreds of various lawsuits by former players.
This has been a difficult year for the game of football as a whole with high school participation down 6.1% compared to a decade ago and a number of problems involving both the NFL and the NCAA. However, it is these lawsuits that are fueling the biggest judgment against the sport and the NCAA.
The previous lawsuits against the NCAA have resulted in large settlements — $70 million to medical monitoring of former collegiate student-athletes, and $5 million to medical research. Part of that settlement tried to prevent future personal injury class-action lawsuits against the NCAA, but plenty of those affected by significant brain trauma are still taking action.
As more and more lawsuits come in against the institutions that either didn’t take concussions seriously or did nothing to help prevent them, it brings to light the past negligence of the NCAA and potentially the schools which these athletes attended—which can be a damaging blow to the programs if all the lawsuits are successful.
Where Does the NCAA Go From Here?
The NCAA is under scrutiny, especially considering the case involving Steven Schmitz, who suffered countless brain injuries during his playing time in the mid-1970s. Even well into his 50s, he didn’t experience the symptoms right away. It wasn’t until 2012 that he was officially diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
CTE is a disease that — according to medical evidence — has a latency period in many who suffer injuries.
While the NCAA tried countless times to claim that Steven should have been exhibiting signs of brain injuries much earlier in his life, the latency period made it so he didn’t experience symptoms until 2012 and he filed a lawsuit within his two year statute of limitations.
The NCAA has implanted the requirement for concussion protocols, but it hasn’t doesn’t change the fact that for decades, individuals suffered traumatic brain injuries due to the repetitive blows to the head they’d suffer in game.
In fact, some of the lawsuits filed against the NCAA can be traced to players who participated in the game of football in the late 1950s. And with the decreasing participation in high school football, trouble with public relations, and more, can the NCAA outlast the negative press?
The NCAA is not the only defendant in the recent wave of lawsuits, however, as there are multiple schools listed in the claims including the University of Southern California, the University of Virginia, Lehigh University, Cornell University, West Virginia, and Johns Hopkins University.
Overall, the legal action may impact roughly 300,000 former collegiate football players and a total of 300 different colleges. The new cases may join the ever-growing list of former athletes taking action for symptoms they are experiencing associated to the head trauma.
How Do I Know If I Have a Case Against the NCAA?
While there are countless others out there who have suffered traumatic brain injuries during their times playing college football, many of them don’t step forward for one reason or another. For some, it’s simply due to the fact they don’t know that they’re eligible to file a lawsuit.
For many, though, the signs are there. There are numerous damages you may have experience and there are symptoms that can indicate long-term brain problems or the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
- Memory loss: Many sufferers of CTE have trouble remembering various memories, both short and long term. For instance, they can forget some of the things they did the week before, or even some of the time when they played football.
- Constant state of confusion: People with CTE often exhibit a number of characteristics indicating they are confused, unfocused, and more.
- Changes in personality: One of the biggest signs of CTE in many of the most prominent cases is the sign of personality changes such as depression. One player who committed suicide in recent years was diagnosed with CTE after his death.
- Problems with balance and motor skills: People who have CTE find they have a harder time with normal daily functions, coordination, and balance.
- Changes in behavior: Those with CTE tend to have erratic changes in behavior, including a more aggressive nature.
There’s currently no clear indicator of how many hits to the head a person must sustain to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but for those who have spent time playing football in college, getting checked by medical professionals can be an important step in determining if you can file your own case against the NCAA.
Even suffering multiple concussions without the presence of CTE can warrant a potential lawsuit against the NCAA for a former player. Especially when it causes blurred vision, light and sound sensitivity, irregular sleep patterns, and lack of energy.
If you’re a former college football player, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the NCAA on the grounds of not being properly trained to take on such violent blows to the head. In some situations, inadequate equipment provided to a player may be the reason for the trauma to the brain—making a school potentially liable for the damages sustained.
Nationally Recognized Traumatic Brain Injury Firm
For past student-athletes, it’s important to know that there is no compensation available from the class action lawsuit that was filed against the NCAA. There must be additional action taken to help recover individual compensation for the damages sustained.
At Shrader & Associates, we have decades of experience representing individuals against large institutions who are only out to protect their own profits—not protect those who put their bodies on the line for the entertainment of millions of people.
The NCAA is a billion-dollar industry, yet the young men and women who play often face the long-term dangers. Even if it has been decades since the initial injury took place, these individuals have the right to fight for the compensation they deserve—the compensation they earned every time they suited up for their schools.
Our team has recovered over $500 million for injured individuals and we know just how college athletic organizations operate. They don’t take care of their people and when these brain injuries do occur, they should be taken seriously, and the athlete should be provided with the utmost care and attention to prevent further damage.
If you or a loved one suffers from CTE, ALS, or any other neurological disorder from playing football or any other sport, know that you can talk to our firm and it won’t cost you a dime to determine if you have a valid case against the NCAA.
Call our firm today at (877) 958-7920 and speak with our team about your potential legal options. We help seek compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages associated with your serious injuries sustained during your playing days.