The family of Joseph Chernach has filed a lawsuit against Pop Warner for failing to warn families and players about the harms of head trauma. Specifically, that Pop Warner failed to train coaches properly, did not use helmets that were safe enough, did not teach children how to properly wear their helmets, and did not limit the amount of hitting in practice. Mr. Chernach's mother, Debra Pyka, alleges that Joseph Chernach's repeated blows to the head from playing football for several years beginning in 1997 resulted in the development of the neurodegenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, and resulted in her son's depression and suicide.
Federal Judge Anita B. Brody asked the National Football League and the former players suing the league to revise portions of their settlement agreement before she would approve the deal. Judge Brody, who oversees the lawsuit filed by over 5,000 retired NFL players, requested that the parties enlarge the settlement in five areas so that more former players could receive benefits.
As the school year progresses it is important for parents and children to understand the potential dangers surrounding sports and recreational activities. Some common types of sports injuries are broken bones, muscle strains, abrasions, and head traumas or concussions. Traumatic brain injuries ("TBI") may be the most serious of these injuries because they are not as apparent. Some of the most common activities associated with TBI are football, baseball, soccer, gymnastics, and playground activities.
This week, attorneys for ten former National Hockey League players filed a class-action suit in federal court in Washington, D.C. against the NHL alleging that they have suffered long-term brain injuries attributable to fraud and negligence on the part of the league. This comes months after the announcement of a $765 million settlement in similar concussion litigation against the NFL.
A Colorado jury has awarded $11.5 million in a lawsuit originally brought against helmet maker Riddell and several high school administrators and football coaches over brain injuries suffered by a teenager in 2008.
An international panel of neurologists, updating their recommendations on concussion care, now recommend that any athlete eighteen or younger who is believed to have sustained a concussion during a game or practice should not return to the playing field the same day.
Jovan Belcher, an inside linebacker who played for the Kansas City Chiefs, recently killed his girlfriend and later killed himself in front of the general manager and the coach of the Chiefs. Many of the people close to Belcher were shocked by his recent actions and had not noticed any previous behavior which would indicate any underlying problems. Others, however, are looking to whether he acted as a result of depression caused by a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). An autopsy will be able to determine if in fact Jovan Belcher suffered from this disease.
It now appears that former NFL players are more susceptible to dying of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease. Last week, a study in Neurology, a widely read peer-reviewed neurology journal, reported that former NFL players were unusually prone to death from degenerative brain diseases.