Our understanding of the impacts of head injuries has come a long way over the past few years. This is another small bit of evidence that institutions are finally figuring out how significant such injuries can be. A recent settlement relating to concussions among NCAA athletes will likely have long-lasting implications for past, present, and future collegiate athletes.
The settlement agreement was filed July 29 ahead of a status hearing before Judge John Z. Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Final settlement approval will take several more months to complete, but the preliminary reports indicate that the settlement will:
- Change association guidelines regarding the management of concussions
- Require NCAA member schools to institute return-to-play guidelines for athletes that have experienced a concussion
- Educate faculty on academic accommodations needed for student athletes suffering from concussions
- Provide $75 million for medical monitoring and research as part of a 50-year monitoring program for current and former NCAA athletes in all sports
- Allow players to file separate personal injury lawsuits based on the results of the NCAA’s new medical monitoring procedures
In recent years, as the medical community has grown more aware of the long-lasting effects of concussions, lawsuits filed by athletes have become common. The high-profile suit filed against the NFL covers a class of almost 20,000 players and their family members, including many suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and dementia. Compensation for those suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been a hot button issue in the case, since today CTE can only be diagnosed after death. Multiple concussions and other forms of head injury have been linked to CTE, which is a degenerative brain disease. It is found in many former NFL players, including Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012.
Understanding Class Action Lawsuits
The NCAA and NFL lawsuits that have been making headlines are class action suits. A class action is a type of suit in which there are too many class members for them to all be individually named in the suit. Class members receive a notice detailing what actions should be taken. If a class member wants to participate as a named party, he or she can choose to hire an attorney to intervene in the case.
If an athlete has experienced serious injuries on the field, filing a personal injury suit may be more appropriate than participating in a class action. When the class action is recovering damages for a large group of people, the amount that each person receives is limited. Contacting a skilled attorney is a must.
Holzer Edwards Can Help
The experienced attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to representing Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligence of others. Please call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.