Approximately one year ago, former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide. While the death was tragic, his act has led to significant research into, and discussion about, football brain injuries. It is now believed that Seau’s depression may have been caused by concussions he suffered while playing pro football.
Medical analysis of Seau’s brain found that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, CTE. CTE is a degenerative brain illness that is caused by severe concussions as well as multiple mild concussions, or repeated hits to the head. The brain disease has been linked to memory loss as well as depression. And it is that depression that many believe caused Junior Seau’s death.
Now, more than 4,000 former football players, including the Seau family, have filed a lawsuit against the National Football League alleging that the league knew of the dangers of multiple head injuries but failed to warn players of the risk. The plaintiffs claim that the medical information regarding CTE and other consequences of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been available to the NFL for many years — decades, even — but the NFL has attempted to discredit it. Now, countless former NFL players suffer from CTE and other brain disorders.
Many people will point out that football is inherently dangerous and, by choosing to play the game, NFL players put their own brain health on the line. After all, concussions happen frequently in football. NFL players, however, claim they did not know of the risk of multiple mild concussions and other head injuries and that by covering up the risks, the NFL has caused them injury. It is one thing to know of the risks of a sport when you choose to take part and quite another to have those risks hidden from you.
Professional athletes aren’t the only ones affected by mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and the brain damage they cause. College, high school and even junior high athletes may also face significant struggles when they are injured during football practice or a game. If your child suffers from a brain injury, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against his coaches, a helmet manufacturer or another at-fault party. Learn more by visiting our pages on brain injuries.
Source: Oceanside-Camp Pendleton Patch, “Junior Seau’s Death Keeps Spotlight on Brain Injuries,” Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Amita Sharma, May 2, 2013