$50M Lawsuit Filed Against NCAA For Brain Injuries
Concussion injuries and their long-term impact on football players is a topic that has garnered much attention in the news lately. A former Texas football player is adding to deluge of head injury law suits with his own case against the NCAA. Julius Whittier, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in August 2012, and decided to sue the NCAA for what could amount to $50 million in damages. This case is particularly important because it seeks compensation for all “former NCAA football players residing in the U.S. who played from 1960 – 2014 who did not go on to play professional football in the NFL and who have been diagnosed with a latent brain injury or disease”.
Whittier, now 64, is seeking $5 million in restitution in this latest lawsuit filed on his behalf by his sister in United States District Court. The lawsuit claims that the NCAA failed to sufficiently protect its student-athletes from head injuries. in violation of it’s constitution (article 2, 2.2.3) requiring that each member school “protect the health of, and provide a safe environment for” its players. The lawsuit also claims that the NCAA breached its duty to protect college football players despite
long-standing and overwhelming evidence that they needed to do so.
Other parts of the controversial lawsuit claim allege that the NCAA ignored its duty to protect the football players and profited from its inaction and denial, to the detriment of the players. Football players should have been educated about the “long term, life-altering risks and consequences of head impacts” and the “known protocols to prevent, mitigate, monitor, diagnose and treat brain injuries.”
Julius Whittier was an offensive lineman and tight end for the Longhorns from 1969-72. He was also the first African-American player to suit up for the popular Texas football team. Whittier filed his case after the NCAA proposed a $75 million concussion settlement in August. The proposed settlement would not have provided immediate and needed care to many former players in need. Whittier’s attorney, Dwight E. Jefferson, claims that his client is now “totally disabled”. Regardless of the outcome, this case has the potential to open up a floodgate of cases for college athletes that are now dealing with severe brain injuries and disability.
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