Many former collegiate football players no longer think of their time playing football as the “Glory Days.” Instead of looking back at this time joyfully, they are saddened and angered by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) failure to protect them from the long-term consequences of concussions. While it may have been decades since they stepped on the field, many former football players are suffering from debilitating neurological conditions and side effects. Although nothing can undo the damage, players can at least seek justice. And, a recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling is ensuring that former players may continue to hold the NCAA accountable despite the passage of time.
The widow of a former University of Notre Dame football player filed a lawsuit against the school and the NCAA on behalf of her deceased husband who played football for the university in the 1970s. The lawsuit was filed in 2014, but unfortunately the former football player died in February 2015. Prior to his death, the football player suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. He was diagnosed postmortem by the Cleveland Clinic with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. CTE is a degenerative neurological disease that can not only lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia, but also other diseases, such as ALS and Parkinson’s.
Notre Dame and the NCAA argued that the statute of limitations had expired and asked the court to drop the case immediately. An Ohio Supreme Court judge disagreed, stating that the injuries suffered by the football player were latent, and therefore not subject to the statute of limitations. The Ohio Supreme Court then ruled the case can proceed to trial.
Why Is This Ruling Important?
While some side effects of concussions are immediate, much of the damage doesn’t cause side effects until years afterwards. When the brain sustains a concussion, brain cells die, and when brain cells die, they release a protein called Tau proteins or T-proteins. T-proteins cause additional brain cell death over time and can build up in individuals – like football players – that suffer repeated concussions.
Because of the nature of the injury, many football players don’t experience serious symptoms until years later. The NCAA previously used this to their advantage in trying to dismiss cases based on the expiration of the statute of limitations; however, the Ohio Supreme Court ruling ensures former NCAA football players can have their day in court with the organization and the universities that failed to protect them.
File an NCAA Concussion Lawsuit Today
If you played collegiate football for an NCAA regulated team, you might have many questions. Raizner Law is currently representing former NCAA football players in lawsuits against the organization. Get in touch today, so we can help explain your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf.