The National Football League has been under fire for several years for its unwillingness to appropriately compensate former players for brain injuries they suffered during their careers. Now, retired athletes in south Florida are suing the league to recognize chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a traumatic brain disease associated with repeated head injuries, as an occupational hazard to be covered through workers’ compensation.
The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Fort Lauderdale on behalf of more than 140 former players who likely have CTE. If the suit is successful, it would provide many players with coverage who would not qualify for funds under a proposed $1 billion settlement for other brain injuries, which is currently under appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The lead attorney in the case says the lawsuit could apply to nearly all of the estimated 19,000 retired NFL players who currently live in the United States. The plaintiffs are seeking 500 weeks of compensation, which would constitute millions of dollars for each individual.
Brain injury studies, knowledge is evolving
Medical experts still do not have a full understanding of brain injuries, but it is at least clearer than it has ever been that repeated blows to the head are linked to CTE. Previously, doctors were only able to diagnose CTE in deceased patients, but recent developments in medical research allow for it to be discovered in live patients, as well.
People who suffer from CTE are more likely to experience Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, significant mood swings, depression, memory loss and other serious conditions. Many are left unable to work and dealing with mounting medical debt.
If you have suffered a brain injury due to another party’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. To learn more, consult a dedicated personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh in Bradenton, Florida.