As we discussed recently, the tragedy involving the death of Junior Seau has now resulted in a lawsuit. Just this past week Seau’s grieving family members filed suit against the National Football League, claiming that the former player’s suicide was the result of a brain disease that developed due to blows to the head he received while playing for the league.
Last May, Seau killed himself with a gunshot to the chest at his home in California. Almost immediately after the suicide some began wondering whether his death could be related to the nearly two decades he spent playing professional football. His brain was sent to a lab for analysis and earlier this month it was revealed definitively that Seau had developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”). According to the National Institutes of Health, CTE is a degenerative neurological disease that develops following multiple severe blows to the head.
Seau was tragically one in a line of former NFL players who took their own lives before being found to have CTE. Dave Duerson, Shane Dronett and Ray Easterling also committed suicide and went on to be diagnosed with the brain disease.
The family’s suit was filed only a few days ago in San Diego and claims that the NFL and the manufacturer of the league’s helmets, Riddell, are liable for Seau’s death. No monetary figures have yet been floated, but the suit does request compensatory as well as punitive damages. The suit goes on to accuse both defendants of fraud, negligence and concealment.
So far the NFL has refused to comment on the litigation. Riddell claims not to have seen the lawsuit and also refused to comment on pending litigation. A spokesperson said that the company is confident in the safety of its products and will defend them against any challenges.
The family has released a statement saying that they know the suit will not bring back Seau, but hopes instead that it will send a powerful message to the NFL and other professional sports organizations about the importance of ensuring players’ safety. The hope is that lawsuits like this will raise the profile of concussion-related injuries and force the NFL and others to make changes that will make the game safer for future generations. The Seau family is not alone; so far thousands of former NFL players are suing the league, claiming the organization hid the dangers of concussions from players for years.
Pope McGlamry P.C., currently represents former professional football players for injuries and damages sustained as a result of suffering concussions while playing football, and is actively involved in this litigation. If you or someone you love has been injured by a sports-related concussion, you may be entitled to compensation.
Source: “Former football star Junior Seau’s family sues NFL, Riddell helmets,” by Michael Martinez, published at CNN.com.
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