In a recent post, we discussed the groundbreaking research being done in California for brain injury victims that may provide a way to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy in living patients, which has not been possible before. Unfortunately, CTE has already affected many people and in some cases has been linked to suicides among patients who experienced severe depression and increased aggression because of the illness.
Among those affected was Junior Seau, a former linebacker who was diagnosed with CTE after his suicide last year. Now, his ex-wife and his children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL in California superior court in San Diego. Although the NFL is facing thousands of lawsuits over the way that the league handled concussions and the risk of long term, traumatic brain injuries, this is the first suit filed by surviving family members that asserts that the NFL’s negligence was the cause of their loved ones death.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, family members seek damages from the negligent party to get compensation for things like lost wages and medical bills associated with the deal, but also to seek justice and to hold the responsible parties accountable for their wrongdoing.
In this lawsuit, the family is accusing the NFL of glorifying violence and encouraging hard hits to other players, ignoring the serious health risks involved in such rough play. They also say that the NFL decided not to change rules or utilize better safety equipment because they thought it would hurt the ratings, referencing economic interests over the wellbeing of the players.
Source: Associated Press, “Seau’s family sues NFL over brain injuries,” Barry Wilner, Jan. 23, 2013.