Although many NCAA concussion lawsuits have been filed in courts across the country, it wasn’t until early this month that one of these cases finally made it to trial. Debra Hardin-Ploetz would have finally been able to share the tragic story of her late husband who was diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE after his death. Although nothing can reverse her or her late husband’s suffering, Ms. Hardin-Ploetz did get some justice as her case settled just three days into the trial.
Ms. Hardin-Ploetz’s late husband, Greg Ploetz, played as a linebacker and defensive tackle for the University of Texas at Austin football team from 1968 to 1971. Later in his life, Mr. Ploetz suffered from a myriad of neurological issues, including depression and memory loss. Research connecting the concussions sustained during football and long-term neurological issues has existed since the 1970s; however, the NCAA and universities ignored this evidence for decades.
The settlement came after hearing testimony from several witnesses. The jury listened to Boston University neurologist Dr. Robert Cantu discuss his concussion research with football players and explain the effects of repeated impacts on the brain to an individual’s long-term health and wellbeing. The jury also considered the deposition of the NCAA’s Chief Medical Officer, neurologist Brain Hainline, in which Dr. Hainline acknowledged the link between concussions sustained while playing football and long-term degenerative brain disorders.
It is no coincidence that the NCAA agreed to settle the case out of court immediately after the jury heard compelling evidence from both Dr. Cantu and Dr. Hainline. Although this only represents the resolution of one case, the NCAA is facing many more concussion lawsuits and may decide to settle the remaining cases, bringing just a little bit of peace to injured players and their loved ones.
NCAA Concussion Litigation
The experienced concussion lawyers at Raizner Slania LLP are representing former college football players and other athletes in lawsuits against the NCAA and other responsible parties. If you played collegiate football, contact us immediately to learn your legal rights and hold the NCAA responsible. All of our consultations are free, and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation.