Tag: CTE

cte football

91% of Former NCAA Football Players Diagnosed With CTE

How CTE, Football, and the NCAA Interrelate

 

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE is a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated impacts to the head. Although the incidence and prevalence of CTE is unknown, it has been diagnosed in former amateur and professional contact sport athletes. Given the millions of contact sport athletes exposed to repetitive head impacts each year, CTE has become a major public health concern.

For decades, research has shown that football players are particularly vulnerable to developing CTE, but sports organizations like the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Football League (NFL) have been slow to adopt policies and procedures that would protect players from developing the disease. For years, these organizations have gone as far as denying any significant association between football and CTE or other concussion related disorders.

The CTE Study That’s Changing The Rules of the Game

However, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association will make it much harder for the NCAA to avoid accountability to student athletes. Led by researchers from Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System, the study was the largest to investigate the link between brain trauma sustained from football and CTE (CTE can only be diagnosed posthumously). Researchers studied the brains of 202 deceased football players, including 111 who were former NFL players.

The results are nothing short of startling. The sample included athletes who played American football at any level. Here are just some of the key findings:

  • 177 of the 202 (87%) deceased former football players were neuropathologically diagnosed with CTE
  • 110 out of the 111 (99%) former NFL players were diagnosed with CTE
    48 out of the 53 college football players (91%) were posthumously diagnosed with CTE
  • 3 out of the 14 deceased high school students (21%) were diagnosed with CTE
  • 7 out of the 8 former Canadian Football League decedents (88%) were diagnosed with CTE 

Beyond these shocking statistics, the study demonstrated that even those players who had mild CTE pathology sustained other sequelae. Of the 27 participants who had mild pathology, 96% had exhibited behavioral and/or mood symptoms; 85% had cognitive symptoms and disorders; and 33% had signs of dementia. For those with severe pathology, the numbers are overwhelming: 89% exhibited behavior or mood symptoms; 95% suffered from cognitive symptoms and disorders; and 85% had signs of dementia.

Additionally, the study found the most common cause of death in players with even mild CTE was suicide. This is tragically consistent with our firm’s experience representing the families of CTE victims, and many of these suicides occurred in a manner where the victims purposely avoided destroying brain tissue with the expressed hope that researchers would continue striving for answers, or that their families would understand why the young men took their own lives. For players in more serious stages of CTE, the most common cause of death was from neurodegenerative related complications.

And while the study was confined to former football players, the risks of concussions extend to many other athletes, both men and women. The NCAA measures concussion rates based on concussions per 10,000 athletic exposures. Men’s football has a concussion rate of 6.7, but other sports have similar rates. Perhaps the clearest example is women’s soccer, which represents the second most populous sport behind men’s football, and maintains a concussion rate of 6.3.

Even more troubling, the researchers of this study are working with a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke that ends in December. While they have applied for additional funding, none has yet been received, despite the prevalence and severity of football-related concussions. Despite the NFL’s 2016 promise of $200 million to support independent research on related topics, the study’s authors doubt they will ever see a penny of it.

What Does This Mean For NCAA Athletes?

As the country starts to get back into its most popular college and professional team sport, this study is a stark reminder of how dangerous football can be when governing associations like the NCAA and its member conferences fail to measure up.

Many collegiate athletes are completely unaware of the significant lifelong health risks to which the NCAA has subjected them. Organizations like the NCAA have a responsibility to inform players of all risks associated with the game, but for the NCAA, the responsibility goes even further.

The NCAA was formed to protect the health and wellbeing of student athletes across the country. The organization currently governs over 400,000 students. The NCAA is expected to act en loco parentis, or in the place of parents. Parents send their children to college assuming they will be kept safe, but for years the NCAA failed to adopt concussion management protocols that could help lessen the long-term effects from concussions, like CTE. CTE causes permanent damage to the brain, and once a player develops the disease, there is no way to stop the progression or reverse the damage it causes.

CTE Brain Injury Attorney

Raizner Slania represents thousands of former college athletes and their families and to date has filed over 50 NCAA concussion lawsuits across the country. Our team of experienced trial lawyers works on these cases all day, everyday. While the NCAA looks at concussions as a potential detraction from their member schools’ college football revenue, we see the faces, lives, and pain behind each and every case. You can read more about the cases we have filed and other NCAA concussion litigation news on our blog.

If you or a loved one experienced brain trauma as a result of a head injury sustained while playing college football for an NCAA regulated team, please contact the experienced trial attorneys at Raizner Slania. We can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf. Call us today for a free consultation.

NCAA Concussion Lawsuits

Raizner Slania Files Five NCAA Concussion Lawsuits On Behalf of College Football Players

Raizner Slania recently filed five lawsuits against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and several Division 1 universities and conferences on behalf of former student athletes suffering from the debilitating long-term effects of repeated concussions sustained during play. The cases involve student athletes from Weber State University, the University of Iowa, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the University of Tulsa, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The plaintiff from Weber State University played as a defensive end from 1996 to 1997. Some of the concussions sustained during games were so severe that the plaintiff often could not remember the games or injuries he had suffered. As a result, he now suffers from severe anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, neurological disorders, memory loss, mood swings, and other debilitating issues. In addition, his medical team has diagnosed him with major depressive disorder, major neurocognitive disorder, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE.
In the case from the former University of Iowa football player, the plaintiff played for the university from 1986 through 1988 as a wide receiver. The plaintiff suffered from a number of concussions during his time playing for the university, and in one instance, he was hit so hard he was knocked unconscious. However, he was quickly returned to the same game without receiving the appropriate medical treatment. He now suffers from serious cognitive issues, including impaired memory, attention, processing speed, and other debilitating issues. Additionally, he was recently diagnosed with neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, depressive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, and his medical team believes he most probably suffers from CTE.

The plaintiff from West Point played for the university as a running back from 1995 to 1998. The plaintiff recalls suffering a number of concussive and sub-concussive hits while playing football for West Point, including suffering from at least 17 concussions during games. The hits he sustained were so severe that he often saw stars and experienced blurry vision and would even become disoriented after. On multiple occasions, he was hit so hard that he had lost consciousness. Additionally, these hits caused him to experience headaches during practices and games that would last long after play. One concussion even caused the plaintiff to experience post-traumatic amnesia. The plaintiff now suffer from severe headaches, memory loss, anxiety, depression, seizures, and other issues. He was diagnosed with severe postconcussive syndrome with neurological deficit and profound left 6th nerve palsy. Ultimately, he was forced to leave school due to concussion injuries he sustained playing football.

The plaintiff who played for the University of Tulsa was a safety, linebacker and played on special teams from 2006 to 2009. He suffered many concussive hits during his time and some of the hits were so severe, that he often experienced headaches during practices and games that would last long after play. In 2008, the plaintiff was hit so hard during a game that he lost consciousness. Given the severity of the impact and his state of unconsciousness, he had to be removed from the game. He was later evaluated by a physician and told that he had, in addition to this significant concussive event, previously suffered many concussive and sub-concussive hits that went undiagnosed and untreated. As a result, the plaintiff was instructed to stop playing football. The plaintiff now suffers from headaches, memory loss, mood swings, and has severe cognitive deficits as a consequence of his concussions.

In the case of the former University of Louisiana at Lafayette student-athlete, the plaintiff played for the university as a tight-end from 1995-1998. The plaintiff recalls suffering from numerous concussions during practices and games. As a result of his time playing college football, the plaintiff suffers from headaches, memory loss, trouble sleeping and mood swings. He has also been diagnosed with brain legions, likely caused by his years playing football. His doctors have concluded that he likely suffers from CTE.

For decades, the NCAA has known about the long-term dangers of concussions and concussion-related injuries. Despite this, the NCAA failed to implement reasonable concussion safety protocols and actively concealed the dangers of concussions from student-athletes.

Repeated impacts to the head greatly increase an athlete’s risk of developing long-term brain injuries like anxiety, memory loss, dementia, depression, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and severe cognitive and neurological deficits, among others.

Unfortunately for student athletes, many of the long-term side effects of concussions do not begin to manifest for years after they have played their last game. Additionally, most concussion-related brain damage is permanent and degenerative, meaning student athletes can do nothing to reverse or stop its progression.

The NCAA currently governs over 400,000 student athletes around the country playing 23 different sports. The institution has a duty to protect student athletes from dangers both on and off the field. Unfortunately, the NCAA’s inaction and concealment of the dangers of concussions created an epidemic that has harmed many college athletes. Despite gaining financially from its football players, the NCAA did little to protect them from the long-term consequences of concussions.

Raizner Slania Can Help Former College Athletes Who Suffered Concussions

Many former college football players were told to “shake it off” after receiving concussions, but this attitude deprived players of the medical treatment necessary to mitigate, monitor, and manage the long-term side effects of concussions.

The experienced trial attorneys at Raizner Slania can help former college football players and other athletes suffering from the long-term effects of concussions and sub-concussive hits sustained during practices and games. We offer free consultations to help you understand your legal options and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

NCAA Concussion Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorneys

Raizner Slania Files Several Concussion Lawsuits Against NCAA On Behalf of the Estates of Deceased Former Athletes

Last week, the attorneys at Raizner Slania filed three class action lawsuits against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and several other athletic conferences on behalf of the estates of three former college football players for failing to implement proper safety protocols and for concealing the dangers of concussions to student athletes. The cases involve former student athletes from Gardner-Webb University, Ohio State University, and Pittsburg State University. Raizner Slania has filed dozens of additional lawsuits on behalf of former college athletes across the country.

The NCAA has known for decades that repeated impacts to the head sustained during football practice and play can cause severe long-term consequences. However, the NCAA actively concealed this information from its athletes, and as a result, former student athletes across the nation are suffering from neurological and cognitive damage.

Over time, repeated concussions and head trauma greatly increase an athlete’s risk of developing long-term brain injuries, including severe anxiety, stress, mood swings, and anger, memory problems, depression, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as ALS), among other conditions.

In one case, the plaintiff received a number of sub-concussive hits and concussions during his time playing college football. He was even forced to participate in “hamburger drills” where he and his teammates would be called out two at a time to hit each other as hard as they could. The repeated concussions gave him significant neurological and cognitive side effects; and, convinced his time playing college football was the cause of his suffering, the plaintiff decided to end his life. The Boston University School of Medicine, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center examined the brain samples, and he was diagnosed postmortem with Stage II/IV CTE.

In the other case, the plaintiff suffered from a number of concussions while playing college football and was never provided the treatment necessary to monitor, manage, and mitigate the long-term effects of his injuries. In 2013, he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gherig’s disease. ALS is a degenerative disease that causes victims to gradually lose voluntary control of their muscles. ALS caused the plaintiff to slowly lose the ability to walk, talk, move, and eventually breathe, causing his death. ALS is a known consequence of repetitive concussions in football players and other collegiate athletes.

In the third case, the plaintiff suffered from a number of concussions, two of which caused him to lose consciousness and two additional concussions that required hospitalization. As a result, the plaintiff began to suffer from severe anxiety, apathy, sluggishness, stress, mood swings and anger, memory problems, and depression. Despite his persistence to get better, the plaintiff’s condition worsened and he took his own life. Boston University School of Medicine, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center studied the brain samples, and posthumously diagnosed the plaintiff with Stage II-III CTE.

The NCAA, its conferences, and its universities had a responsibility to student athletes to safeguard their health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, the NCAA put profits before players and as a result, former college athletes are struggling with permanent and debilitating conditions.

NCAA Concussion Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorneys

If you or a loved one experienced brain trauma after suffering a head injury while playing for an NCAA regulated team, please contact the attorneys at Raizner Slania. Our consultations are free and confidential, and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we help you obtain compensation.

College Football Concussion Injury Attorneys

Former Idaho Student Files NCAA Concussion Injury Suit

Raizner Slania filed a lawsuit on behalf of a former University of Idaho football player against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Sun Belt Conference (Sun Belt) for failing to adequately protect student-athletes from the long-term consequences of repeated concussions.

The plaintiff played college football for the University of Idaho as a cornerback from 2000 to 2003. He also played on the Idaho Vandals special teams. The plaintiff remembers suffering at least five concussions during his time playing college football. In particular, he suffered one concussion so severe he needed to be hospitalized.

During the plaintiff’s time playing Idaho college football, there were no adequate concussion management protocols or policies in place to address and treat concussions sustained by student-athletes during practice and in games.

Even though the plaintiff suffered repeated concussions and sub-concussive hits, the NCAA and Sun Belt failed to adopt adequate concussion management protocols or return to play guidelines. Not only was the plaintiff returned to the field of play every time he suffered a concussive or sub-concussive hit, the NCAA and Sun Belt also deprived him of the medical treatment needed to protect student-athletes from the long-term risks associated with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

As a result of his time playing football for the University of Idaho, the plaintiff now suffers from dizziness, fatigue, headaches, memory loss, sensitivity to light, and other debilitating issues.

The Effects of CTE

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease caused by repeated impacts to the head. Each time a person receives an impact to the head, it shakes the brain inside the skull. This movement can cause damage to the brain, and even cause brain cells to die. When brain cells die, they release a protein that can cause cell death in other brain cells.

Many football players with CTE do not begin to experience symptoms until many years after they have ceased playing the sport. Symptoms like rage, impulsivity, and depression can be among the first symptoms a person with CTE experiences. As the condition progresses, individuals will begin to suffer from memory loss and confusion and can eventually develop dementia and/or suffer from other cognitive dysfunctions.

Raizner Slania: College Football Concussion Injury Attorneys

The lawyers at Raizner Slania are leading the college football concussion lawsuits, helping college athletes from around the nation recover damages for head injuries suffered during sports play. If you or someone you know played football in college and suffered concussions, contact us today for a confidential free consultation.

Concussion Injury Lawsuit

Raizner Slania Files Concussion Injury Lawsuit On Behalf of Syracuse Football Player

Raizner Slania filed a concussion lawsuit against Syracuse University, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the American Athletic Conference (ACC) on behalf of a former Syracuse University football player for the reckless disregard for the health and well being of its student athletes.

The plaintiff played college football for Syracuse from 2003 to 2005 as a receiver, kick returner, and cornerback. He suffered a number of concussions during both practices and games. In particular, he recalls getting his “bell rung” many times over the three-year span. Many times he was hit so hard his ears would ring, his vision would become blurry, and he would see stars. In one instance, the plaintiff was hit with such force that during a punt return he became so disoriented he experienced difficulty walking.

Since the inception of Syracuse’s football program through at least 2010 and beyond, there were no adequate concussion management protocols or policies in place to address and treat concussions sustained by student athletes during practice and in games. Each time the plaintiff suffered a concussive or sub-concussive hit, he was deprived by Syracuse, the NCAA, and the AAC of the appropriate medical attention and treatment necessary to monitor, manage, and mitigate risks associated with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

As a direct result of his time playing football for Syracuse, the plaintiff now suffers from memory loss, headaches, mood swings, depression, and other debilitating issues.

Unfortunately for football players, the effects of repeated concussions are not always immediate. For many college athletes, they begin experiencing symptoms long after their last game on the field. Because the concussions were sustained during practices and games for the profit of the NCAA and the ACC, these organizations should be held responsible.

Raizner Slania: Concussion Injury Lawsuit Attorneys

The NCAA, its universities, and its conferences have a responsibility to safeguard players’ health and wellbeing both on and off the field, not to be a silent party to their injuries. If you or someone you loved suffered concussions while playing for an NCAA regulated team, you may be able to file a claim. Call the experienced trial lawyers at Raizner Slania today to schedule a free consultation. We can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf.

ncaa class action

Eastern Michigan University Football Player Files Concussion Injury Lawsuit

Raizner Slania filed a lawsuit on behalf of a former Eastern Michigan University football player against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) for failing to provide the appropriate medical treatment to monitor, mitigate, and manage the long-term effects of concussions.

The plaintiff played for Eastern Michigan as an offensive tackle from 1985 to 1989. He specifically remembers suffering from at least five concussions during his time playing football for the university, including twice when he endured multiple head to head hits that made him “see stars” and streaks of light. After each concussive and sub-concussive hit, the plaintiff was quickly returned to play.

As a direct result of his time playing college football for the university, the plaintiff now suffers from depression, fatigue, impulse control problems, irritability, memory loss, sleeping disorders, and other debilitating medical problems.

Although the plaintiff repeatedly sustained concussive and sub-concussive hits in practices and games for their profit and promotion, the NCAA and the MAC failed to adopt or implement adequate concussion management safety protocols or return to play guidelines for student-athletes. The NCAA and the MAC had a duty to provide appropriate and up-to-date guidance and regulations to minimize the risk of injury to football players, but failed to do so despite the growing evidence of the severe long-term effects of brain injuries.

When the head receives repeated impacts, the brain can suffer deformation, twisting, shearing, and stretching of neuronal cells. This can cause damage to the brain and cause the release of small amounts of chemicals within the brain that can cause additional neurological side effects.

NCAA Concussion Injury Lawyers

Many long-term effects of concussions are degenerative, and former players may not begin to experience symptoms for many years after their last game. If you or someone you love sustained a concussion while playing football for an NCAA regulated team, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the NCAA concussion injury lawyers at Raizner Slania today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Our attorneys can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf. Contact us today.