Tag: concussions

NCAA Concussion Lawsuits

Raizner Law Files Hundreds of Additional NCAA Concussion Lawsuits

Raizner Law has recently filed over two hundred additional lawsuits on behalf of former collegiate football players against the National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA. Players allege the NCAA did not educate them about the long-term effects of concussions sustained during play and failed to implement safety protocols that could have lessened the effects.

The lawsuits were filed in the Southern District of Indiana, where over 100 lawsuits have already been filed. Many of the plaintiffs involved haven’t been on the football field in years, but the effects of their time playing for universities continue to affect their lives. When a person sustains a concussive or sub-concussive hit, brain cells die. Anytime a brain cell dies, it releases a protein called a Tau protein (or T-protein) that can cause further cell death. Repeated impacts to the head cause a build up of T-proteins in the brain, which continue to destroy brain cells as the individual begins to suffer neurological impairment.

Unfortunately, there is no way to stop or slow down this process. The damage caused by repeated football concussions can lead to a wide variety of neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, and ALS, among others. While these conditions develop over time, many former football players report experiencing anxiety, depression, mood swings, concentration problems, and poor memory just years after they’ve left the game.

Research on the effects of repeated concussions began in the 1920s with boxers who would suffer from “punch drunk syndrome.” Throughout the twentieth century, advances in medicine have helped physicians understand exactly what goes inside the head during and after a concussion. Unfortunately, medicine has not advanced far enough to completely and successfully treat neurological conditions caused by repeated concussions.

The NCAA is charged with overseeing and protecting the health and well being of over 300,000 student athletes. For years, the NCAA chose profits over players by failing to implement concussion protocols to protect college footballers. The NCAA has no right to make millions in profits each year off of college athletes who are sustaining permanent health damage.

Get Help With Your NCAA Concussion Lawsuit

Raizner Law is proud to help former collegiate athletes hold the NCAA responsible for their recklessness. Get help with your NCAA concussion lawsuit today by contacting us for a free consultation.

Concussion Lawsuit

Former Cornerback Files Concussion Lawsuit Against the NCAA

Raizner Law has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a former Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) football player against the National Collegiate Athletic Association for allegedly failing to protect him from the long-term effects of concussions. Our plaintiff played as a cornerback in 1999, but continues to suffer from neurological impairments to this day.

Since the inception of WPI’s football program through at least 2010, 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. When our client experienced a significant head injury or concussion, he would be quickly returned to the field of play or only be taken out of the game for an inadequate amount of time. During his time playing college football for WPI, our client sustained many impacts to the head. As a result, he currently suffers from depression, memory loss, and suicidal thoughts, among other mental issues.

Although the NCAA knew about the long-term effects of concussions, they kept the public and players in the dark and continued to profit off of college football players. Raizner Law is seeking compensation on our client’s behalf to cover the cost of past and future medical expenses, other out of pocket expenses, lost time and interest, and lost future earnings. While no amount of money can reverse the brain damage our client has suffered, it will help hold the NCAA accountable for its actions.

Thousands of Players Affected

Evidence linking concussions to long-term neurological impairment has existed for decades. Despite being charged with safeguarding the wellbeing of its student athletes, the NCAA did nothing to educate or protect college football players from the dangerous and lasting side effects of being hit while playing football. There have been thousands of collegiate football players over the past few decades, and according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 91% of former collegiate football players were diagnosed post-mortem with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. CTE is a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated impacts to the head.

Learn Your Rights Today

Former collegiate football players do not have to suffer in silence. Raizner Law is representing dozens of former NCAA football players and we can help you too. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.


NFL Sees Fewer Concussions In 2018, But The Damage Is Already Done

Concussions have been plaguing the sport of football for decades. The concussive and sub-concussive hits sustained during play have given players long-term neurological conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, among many others. It took years for the NFL to implement concussion management protocols that could lessen the effects of concussions, but once the league did so, the number of concussions finally decreased. Unfortunately, these concussion protocols come too late for hundreds of former athletes.

The NFL reported a 24% decrease in concussions in the 2018 season versus the previous year. In 2017, the league reported 281 concussions, but that number was reduced to 214 in 2018. On average, an NFL team could expect one concussion out of every four games. While this will certainly help mitigate the long-term effects of concussions for current football players, it comes far too late for many.

In 2017, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association led by researchers from Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System found 99% of former NFL football players had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. CTE is a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated impacts to the head. The study was the largest to investigate the link between brain trauma sustained as the result of playing football and CTE, with researchers examining at the brains of over 202 deceased football players.

NFL players aren’t the only athletes suffering from the long-term effects of concussions, however. The study also looked at the brains of former college football players and determined 91% had CTE. Collegiate football players later diagnosed with CTE and other sports related concussion injuries don’t receive the compensation that professional players do, which means when they begin to suffer serious side effects from concussions, many don’t have the financial means to receive the same level of care as their professional counterparts.

While there is currently no cure for brain damage caused by repeated impacts to the head, former collegiate football players can hold the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) responsible for failing to implement proper concussion mitigation protocols. Raizner Law is currently representing former NCAA football players in a lawsuit against the NCAA, certain universities, and athletic conferences for putting profits before players.

Contact Raizner Law Today For Help

Our experienced trial attorneys provide free consultations to former NCAA college football players. We can explain your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf. If you choose to work with us, there is no upfront cost and you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover financial compensation. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Effects of Concussions

Former University of Iowa Football Player Describes Degenerative Effects of Concussions

Football has been one of America’s favorite sports for decades. Many young boys have eagerly played the game with hopes of playing at the collegiate or professional level. Unfortunately, players are now learning the concussions they sustained during play lead to long-term health consequences. Hundreds of former collegiate football players are suing the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for failing to protect them from concussions while playing. One such player is Marc Mazzeri who is a former University of Iowa football player.

Mr. Mazzeri played for the University of Iowa in the 1980s as a receiver and as a special teams “gunner.” Gunners are responsible for tackling the opposing team’s punter, which made it a particularly violent position. Mr. Mazzeri suffered many instances of “seeing stars,” and regularly received headaches from playing football but continued to play for fear of losing his spot on the practice squad. Mr. Mazzeri specifically remembers blacking out several times after hard hits he received in games. In these instances, he couldn’t remember what happened later, and in one instance, he woke up with vertigo and was unable to look up. While Mr. Mazzeri did see a neurologist for his symptoms, he still played for the university the following week.

When Mr. Mazzeri graduated in 1988, the damage was already done. His behavior had changed. He was often aggressive and irritable and suffered from pain in his neck, head, and shoulders. After years working in executive security, Mr. Mazzeri’s once impeccable memory was fading. A neurologist eventually tested him because the doctor believed his memory loss was consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is a degenerative neurological condition similar to dementia that has been associated with football players. Concussions sustained while playing football cause brain cells to die. When a brain cell dies, it releases a protein that can cause further cell death. This protein can build up and eventually lead to enough cell death to cause serious neurological impairment. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop the development of CTE.

The NCAA is responsible for safeguarding the health and wellbeing of student athletes. Even though the NCAA has known for decades that the concussions sustained while playing football can cause long-term damage, the organization failed to warn players or implement any concussion protocols to mitigate the effects until 2010. The NCAA had no right to profit off of collegiate football players at the expensive of their health.

Raizner Law Is Representing Former Collegiate Football Players

If you are a former collegiate football player, Raizner law can explain your legal options and hold the NCAA accountable for the injuries you suffered. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

dangers of concussions

Concussion Detecting Device Receives FDA Approval

For many years, football coaches told players to “walk it off” when they were experiencing concussion symptoms, to the extreme detriment of the players’ health. Decades of research have shown concussive and sub-concussive hits sustained while playing football can cause serious long-term injuries. In particular, it is extremely dangerous to keep playing football after sustaining a concussion. Luckily for players, a new device has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to diagnose concussions in real time.

Currently, in order to diagnose a concussion, players must undergo a medical examination and possibly diagnostic testing, but all of that could change soon. Bethesda BrainScope Co. Inc. received FDA approval for a portable medical device called the BrainScope One that uses EEG-based technology to assess brain injuries. Specifically, the FDA cleared the BrainScope One to perform a “multi-modal, multi-parameter assessment,” to determine the likelihood someone has suffered a “concussion” or “mild traumatic brain injury.” The device can also evaluate the severity of the injury and identify internal bleeding in the brain.

The BrainScope was developed with an investment from the Department of Defense, and is currently being used by the U.S. military, urgent care clinics, concussions clinics, emergency rooms, and other healthcare facilities. The BrainScope will be able to identify concussions faster and more cost effectively than previous methods. Sadly, this type of technology arrives far too late for many former football players.

NCAA Concussions

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is responsible for safeguarding the health and wellbeing of student athletes. The NCAA has known about the dangers of concussions and continuing to play while concussed for decades, but failed to institute protocols to mitigate long-term effects. Now, many former football players are suffering from memory loss, depression, mood swings, and neurological impairment, among other serious medical conditions. Many former football players are left so debilitated they can longer work or end up developing degenerative conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS.

Holding the NCAA Responsible

The NCAA chose profits instead of players’ safety in repeatedly refusing to implement concussion protocols. Players have a right to hold the organization accountable for its greed. Raizner Law is representing former collegiate football players in lawsuits against the NCAA. If you want to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us today.

Former Football Player

Family Reveals Tragic End For Former Football Player

In 2005, law enforcement officers found Rod Stensrud running on a busy road next to a shopping mall. The officers reported Mr. Stensrud told them, “Something is wrong with my brain.” Unfortunately, Mr. Stensrud was right. A year after this incident he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Mr. Stensrud played at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and at California State University, Long Beach. At UCLA he played on scout and special teams. At Cal State, he received little game time; however, he was subjected to repeated concussive and sub-concussive hits during scrimmages and practices. He described his own concussions in a 2008 interview while participating in an Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk as “Just a collision like a truck, a Mack truck.”

By his mid-40s, Mr. Stensrud began to experience cognitive impairment. In the early 1990s, Mr. Stensrud got lost heading to the bathroom at a Stanford-UCLA basketball game. Eventually, he had to stop working because he could not keep track of important paperwork. In the early 2000s, Mr. Stensrud admitted to a friend that he couldn’t remember how to unlock his own front door. Just prior to his diagnosis, he was also suffering from hallucinations.

When Mr. Stensrud was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he was only 55 years old, which made him younger than 95% of patients with Alzheimer’s. As surprising as the diagnosis was, it made more sense when he eventually passed away in 2011. After his death, his brain was donated to Stanford pathologists who diagnosed him postmortem with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma.

Mr. Stensrud’s CTE and Alzheimer’s were likely the result of his years playing collegiate football. Many studies have shown a link between the repeated impacts sustained during play and degenerative neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS, among others. Mr. Stensrud’s widow has filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for failing the protect college athletes from the long-term effects of concussions. The NCAA has known for decades that concussions can cause serious neurological damage, but failed to update any protocols or educate players on the risks.

Raizner Law partner Jeff Raizner is representing Mrs. Stensrud in her lawsuit against the NCAA, as well as dozens of other former NCAA football players. Mr. Raizner was quoted in The Mercury News explaining, “This is not just a phenomenon that happens to the stars, the guys who play in every game. It happens to the guys you never heard of. Guys you won’t even see on an active roster.”

NCAA Concussion Claims

Many former football players are suffering lasting effects as a result of their time playing for universities. If you or someone you love played NCAA football, contact Raizner Law immediately. We can help you obtain compensation for the NCAA’s failure to protect student athletes. Call us today for a free consultation.