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NCAA and NFL Concussions bring about personal injury lawsuits

“For over thirty years, the NCAA has failed its student-athletes, choosing instead to sacrifice them on an altar of money and profits,” claimed Joseph Siprut, the lawyer who filed a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA.

Siprut, a Chicago-based attorney, filed the suit on behalf of plaintiff Adrian Arrington, a twenty-five year old former football player at Eastern Illinois University. The suit, filed Tuesday, alleges the NCAA is not protecting its’ student-athletes from sustaining concussions. “The NCAA has engaged in a long-established pattern of negligence and inaction with respect to concussions and concussion-related maladies sustained by its student-athletes, all the while profiting immensely from those same student-athletes,” Siprut states.


Allegations against the NCAA

* Has not implemented a widely accepted “return to play” list of guidelines for players who have suffered a concussion

* Has not addressed the coaching of tackling methods that continue to cause head injuries

* Failed to put into practice comprehensive guidelines for the detection of head injuries

* Failed to pass legislation addressing the treatment, eligibility and possible re-entry of a player who has suffered multiple concussions

* Has not implemented guidelines or a support system for players who are unable to lead a normal life after suffering multiple concussions

“On average, the NCAA makes over $740 million in revenue each year,” the complaint states. “Unlike professional sports organizations, the NCAA does not use revenues to pay its athletes, nor does the money go towards pension or medical benefits for post-collegiate athletes.”

The complaint goes on to say that the NCAA has been ignoring studies published by the University of North Carolina that link concussions and other head injuries to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Adrian Arrington played safety on the EIU team from 2006-2009 and sustained multiple concussions during games and practices. “At no time was Arrington coached on how to make safer tackles,” the suit claims.

Siprut is seeking medical monitoring and financial help for long-term injuries, as well as future financial losses caused by the NCAA.


Allegations against the NFL

This lawsuit filed last week against the NCAA comes on the heels of a suit that was filed against the NFL by former players last month. Six retired players including Jim McMahon, a former Super Bowl champion, filed the complaint in a Philadelphia federal court.

If this suit is certified as a class, it could include thousands of former players who say they have suffered neurological injury as a result of head injuries suffered while playing in the NFL. The potential damages could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. The eventual success of this lawsuit could open the door for future complaints by family members and unlimited healthcare costs related to the concussions they suffered.

The NFL will try to have the lawsuit dismissed as frivolous; if they fail to do so, the cases would be scheduled for trial. If this happens, the NFL would have to sit and answer questions under oath in a potentially damaging discovery process. If they wanted to avoid discovery, the league could settle the claims out of court. However, the NFL owners would be paying the bill and that might be an unacceptable outcome for them.

It seems that both the NCAA and NFL are at an important point in their histories. Potentially damaging personal injury lawsuits threaten their financial security. If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, please contact a qualified personal injury lawyer in your state.