Berkowitz and Hanna LLC is watching a lawsuit with potentially huge ramifications filed by the family of former San Diego Chargers defensive back Paul Oliver. The family is suing the NFL, specific NFL teams and several helmet manufacturers for the wrongful death of Mr. Oliver, alleging fraud and negligence. They blame sports-related concussions for his suicide in 2013, alleging it was a “direct result of the injuries, depression and emotional suffering caused by repetitive head trauma and concussions…a result of playing football.” The suit contends that defective helmets were provided, and he was not fully apprised of the “risk…to head trauma.”
The NFL has been under fire for some time for not sharing information regarding concussions and head trauma. This lawsuit contends that the parties named knew for decades about the serious risk of injury, but concealed the evidence. The NFL now provides information about concussions for the players and their families. The suit also outlines a pathologist’s report confirming that Mr. Oliver had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) a progressive degenerative brain disease that can be caused by repetitive brain trauma.
Berkowitz and Hanna LLC isn’t surprised to see these CTE cases in court. It’s interesting to note that the NFL proposed a class action lawsuit settlement of $765 million for current and future NFL players just this year, but that was deemed inadequate by a federal judge. Berkowitz and Hanna LLC and its experienced wrongful death attorneys are following this case as it progresses through the legal system.
Note: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC did not represent any of the parties in this case.
Image by Dennis Yang Via Flickr.com of Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA