The NFL has seen a major lawsuit involve the degenerative brain condition called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) brought on by repetitive blows to the head that are part of the sport. In 2012, over 4,500 players, families and representatives filed a concussion lawsuit that could end up paying as much as $1 billion to players and their families.
Now it is the NCAA‘s turn
While that case is closed, the NCAA is facing an onslaught of suits from athletes and their families. The latest is a lawsuit by the widow of former football player Jeffrey Staggs filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Sarah Staggs alleges that the NCAA did not warn players of the potential for injury and it did not take steps to protect players. Staggs played for San Diego State University and the San Diego Chargers, and suffering his first concussion while playing in college. After his death in 2014, the autopsy revealed trauma to the brain.
As with other personal injury and wrongful death cases, Staggs through her legal team is seeking compensation. This list of damages claimed includes:
- Past medical expenses
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost time and interest
- Lost future earnings
- Legal expenses
- The trauma resulting from the premature death of her husband
Along with endangering the player, the suit also argues that the NCAA profited at the expense of the plaintiff, which is not fair. Players and members of their family need to be aware of their rights to compensation for the premature loss of life as well as quality of life so many athletes endure long after their playing days are over. Contact an attorney if you have a deceased family member who potentially was injured while playing college football, hockey or other contact sports. They can help determine if a claim is a viable option and then walk the survivors through the process.