HARD HITS TO THE HEAD: A POSSIBLE LINK TO ANOTHER HERO’S DEATH
In what has become a troubling trend in the National Football League, another legend has died after failing to cope with life after retirement.
Yesterday afternoon the rumors began to hit media waves about former NFL hero Junior Seau’s apparent suicide – sadly, this was no rumor. It’s difficult to imagine this hard-hitting, gridiron sports icon could be dead at only 43.
It is reported that the former San Diego Chargers linebacker was found dead Wednesday [May 2, 2012] morning, with a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest. It is now being considered whether the years of helmet to helmet contact and hard hits suffered by Seau could have caused Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (“CTE”), a troubling disease linked to the how the brain functions, and Seau’s suicide.
According to Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, CTE is “…[a] progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma…concussions as well as…subconcussive hits to the head.” It is further explained that this trauma and brain degeneration causes “…memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia.”
Several former NFL players have committed suicide in recent years including former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, former Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters, and last month, former Atlanta Falcons defensive back, Charles “Ray” Easterling. Many experts believe the deaths could be related to brain injuries suffered while in the League, and have studied the brains of these former NFL stars revealing CTE. The NFL, however, has repeatedly refuted the connection between concussions and brain injury.
Today, Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. filed its latest lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of 114 former players. All of the suits at issue make allegations that the NFL failed to take proper action in response to players’ complaints of concussion-related health problems. Former players allege that the League, through its own self-appointed and self-serving concussion committee, has continuously and vehemently downplayed independent research showing the casual link between head injuries in football and long term cognitive issues. The NFL has denied the allegations.
Currently, there are over 60 lawsuits and 1500 former NFL players involved in the concussion litigation against the NFL. More suits and players are expected to join. The litigation has been consolidated and centralized in Philadelphia before Judge Anita Brody in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, 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.