A growing number of studies suggest a link between contact sports and degenerative brain disease. Brain injuries disable and kill people, whether the injury occurred in a car accident or on the playing field.
Last year, the National Football League (NFL) made headlines by settling a lawsuit brought by former players for disabling brain injuries suffered from years of taking hits to the head on the gridiron. Early this year, the $765 million settlement was rejected by a federal judge concerned about the insufficiency of the settlement to deliver on its goals.
Neurological disorders suffered by the NFL players include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Post-mortem analysis by the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy and Sports Legacy Institute (BU) revealed the following:
- Jacksonville native Randy Freel committed suicide at age 36 in December 2012. Mr. Freel, a former major league baseball player, suffered approximately nine concussions during his career. The concussions were caused by player collisions or impact with outfield walls. In January of this year, BU researchers notified the family of Mr. Freel that he had been suffering from Stage II CTE when he took his life.
- In February, BU announced post-mortem analysis of soccer player Patrick Grange, which indicated he suffered Stage II CTE when he died of ALS in April 2012. Mr. Grange had particular proficiency handling a soccer ball with his head and suffered multiple concussions in his soccer career.
In Florida, guidelines for education and prevention of concussion in high school sports are now required.
Accidents and injury that damage the brain alter and end lives. When you have questions about brain or head injury in Florida, speak with an experienced injury attorney.