Our Chicago brain injury attorneys read in The Washington Post that the family of deceased Junior Seau has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the National Football League, alleging that his suicide was caused by brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head while playing football during his long career. Many will remember that the acclaimed football player committed suicide last May by shooting himself in the chest. An examination of his brain performed during an in depth autopsy revealed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease that often leads to dementia, memory loss, behavioral changes, and depression.
The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of San Diego, California and alleges that the NFL hid the dangers of repetitive blows to the head for years. Recently, the NFL has acknowledged the dangers of concussions to its players and has changed many of the league rules to prevent such brain injuries. The Seau family is not alone as nearly 4,000 former players have also sued the NFL, especially as head injuries have become more frequent and the hits more violent. The Seau family is also suing the helmet manufacturer Riddell, Inc., who they claim was negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of their helmets.
The Seau family is hoping that this high profile lawsuit will send a message to the NFL that is needs to take brain injuries more seriously, protect its future players, and to acknowledge the mental health needs of its former players. Brain injuries are serious injuries and must be acknowledged as such. Concussions affect not only high profile adult athletes but children as well. Additionally, concussions affect more than just football players. The Mayo Clinic defines as concussion as a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. They are usually caused by a blow to your head, and therefore it is important to be aware of concussions in all sports, not just football.
Other sports where concussions occur frequently is soccer and hockey. Headers, or hitting the ball strategically with your forehead are a common occurrence in soccer and should be done very cautiously, if at all. Additionally, many hockey players also experience head injuries, as the sport can be as violent, if not more so, than football. Children are especially at risk for head injuries, and their effects are felt more seriously in young people, as their brains are still developing. The only way to recover from a concussion is to rest and to allow your head to heal itself. Therefore if you have experienced a concussion, you must not continue to involve yourself in violent contact sports where the injury may only worsen. Additionally, if a child experiences a concussion, they must not continue to play and should be allowed ample time to recover.
Although sports and exercise may lead to better health, parents, administrators and athletes should understand the risks involved and take proper action to prevent serious brain injuries from occurring. Our lawyers hope to see safer equipment and regulations to protect athletes of all ages from devastating and debilitating injuries.