Studies by the National Institute of Health (NIH) have recently confirmed that Junior Seau, NFL linebacker, had been suffering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when he committed suicide on May 2, 2012. Repetitive head injuries during Seau’s football career greatly contributed to the development of the neurological degenerative disease, CTE.
On January 23, the Seau family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL), claiming that they failed to protect Junior Seau against the dangers of hard hits to the head and their long-term effects. The helmet manufacturer, Riddell Inc., is also being sued by the family on the basis of design and testing negligence that has resulted in equipment that is unsafe and dangerous for players.
To better understand the Seau case, KUSI News Good Morning San Diego invited our very own founder and head personal injury attorney, Ross Jurewitz, to talk about the case from a legal professional point of view on January 25.
At about 6:20 AM, Mr. Jurewitz sat down with anchor David Davis live on air with KUSI News Channel 9/51.
After explaining the case allegations against NFL and Riddell Inc, Ross Jurewitz revealed that besides the Seau lawsuit against NFL, there are “at least 80 different lawsuits involving hundreds of players that are in federal court consolidated before a federal judge.”
The Seau family lawsuit against the NFL is not the first of its kind. The NFL has been dealing with many similar lawsuits, which is the reason why the league made rule changes to better protect players from brain injury such as “outlawing helmet-to-helmet hits.”
The concern of brain injury in contact sports may also fall even extend beyond the NFL. It is quite possible that other sporting leagues such as Pop Warner, high school, and college football will have to “make drastic rule changes to protect the kids” from brain injury and to prevent costly lawsuits.
So What Is the NFL’s Next Move?
Ross Jurewitz expects the NFL to file a motion to remove the case and be sent to Philadelphia to be consolidated with all the other lawsuits against NFL. From there, we can expect for “extensive discovery (evidence gathering) as to what the NFL knew and what they actually told their players.”
It is expected that it will take at least two years for the Seau family lawsuit, as well as other lawsuits against the NFL, to come to a resolution.
To watch the full KUSI News interview with Ross Jurewitz on the Junior Seau case, visit our YouTube channel or view the video below.