Wrongful Death Lawsuits Involving Sports Injuries Continue With A Lawsuit Filed By The Widow of San Diego Chargrs Running Back Paul Oliver
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Have Been On The Rise After Numerous Football Head Injuries Have Occurred on Both High School Fields and NFL Fields
Wrongful death suits have been multiplying against the National Football League (NFL) in recent months. The latest sports injury lawsuit was filed by the wife and children of the San Diego Chargers running back Paul Oliver. The lawsuit was filed in September against the NFL, The New Orleans Saints, several helmet manufacturers, and the Chargers after the death of Paul Oliver in September 2013.
Paul Oliver committed suicide in September 2013 in the presence of his family. According to a pathology report, Oliver was suffering from what is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative brain disease that commonly affects athletes who experience repetitive head trauma. The side effects of this condition include depression, memory loss, and dementia. [http://www.ohio.com/blogs/legal-news/legal-news-1.513148/wrongful-death-lawsuits-against-the-nfl-for-brain-injuries-1.536642, November 2014]
The suit claims that Oliver’s death was directly related to his injuries which caused depression and emotional trauma. The suit claims that the NFL and other named defendants knew about the potential risks for decades, but failed to disclose the information to Oliver. The suit further claims that the NFL encourages violent head injuries and brutality during football play. The family is seeking compensation for wrongful death in an undisclosed amount.
According to data from a class action suit against the NFL, three out of 10 players will develop debilitating brain conditions. Oliver’s family is not the only family to file a wrongful death claim with the NFL. In January of 2013, the family of Junior Seau who died from suicide filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL and the helmet manufacturer Riddell. According to the suit, Seau suffered from mood swings, forgetfulness, depression, and irrationality and was diagnosed with CTE.
CTE was also the cause of death for Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher who killed himself and his girlfriend in December 2012. Former Chicago Bears safety, Dave Duerson, shot himself in 2011 and was also diagnosed with CTE after his death.
In the class action suit against the NFL, the football giant has proposed a tentative settlement that would offer up to $4 million of CTE was ruled as the cause of death for football players younger than 45. Players diagnosed between 50 and 54 would be eligible for up to $2.3 million. No compensation would be offered to players diagnosed with CTE while they were still living.
However, claimants are not happy with this settlement amount. The suit’s lawyers said in a statement that this settlement would block individuals from receiving compensation for CTE who have the condition but do not commit suicide. According to the claimants, up to 16,000 NFL players could potentially be diagnosed with CTE and this settlement would prevent them from receiving compensation. The claimants plan to object to the settlement, Ohio.com reports.
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