Over the past two years, the National Football League has been dealing with a series of lawsuits that have been filed by former players and their families, claiming that the league failed to properly warn players against the risks involved with participating in the league. These claims stem from the recent diagnoses of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE as it is more commonly known.
CTE is a degenerative brain disease that can cause severe cognitive disorders, including depression, violent mood swings, and suicidal ideation. Due to the nature of the disease and the recency of its discovery, CTE is only diagnosable through a post-mortem autopsy. CTE is believed to be caused by repeated high-impact blows to the head and has been found in many former professional athletes, most notably NFL players. This has left many former NFL players wondering if the symptoms that they are experiencing are due to their participation in the sport.
According to a recent news report, the attorney of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez announced that researchers believe that Hernandez had a case of CTE prior to his suicide death in April of this year. At the time of his death, Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the murder of a semi-professional football player who was dating Hernandez’s fiancé’s sister.
The lawsuit, brought on behalf of Hernandez’s four-year-old daughter, claims that the NFL was fully aware of the dangers involved in exposing players to repeated blows to the head, but it concealed and misrepresented these risks to players in an effort to keep players involved in the league. The lawsuit was only recently filed, and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be.
Earlier CTE Claims
CTE has been in the news for the past several years, and it was the subject of a major lawsuit against the NFL. Just last year, after much negotiation, a judge finally approved a settlement offer between a class of former NFL players and their families, whereby the league agreed to pay out $1 billion to the former players and their families, based on the league’s failure to take precautions to prevent CTE and similar head trauma. The specifics of the agreement, in terms of which plaintiffs will receive compensation and how much they will receive, has yet to be determined.
Are You Suffering from a Maryland Sports Injury?
If you or a loved one has recently been seriously injured in a Maryland sports accident leading to a brain injury, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Professional sports leagues, as well as schools and colleges, have a duty to ensure that players are safe on the field. In many cases of athlete injury, the league overlooked important safety considerations that could have prevented the injury. The skilled Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling Maryland sports injury cases, and we work closely with former players and their families to help them receive the compensation they deserve. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
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Plaintiff’s Failure to Comply with Pre-Lawsuit Notice Results in Dismissal of Case, Maryland Accident Law Blog, September 1, 2017.