Berkowitz and Hanna LLC has years of experience litigating wrongful death cases, those in which a party’s negligent or reckless behavior resulted in the preventable death of another person. Recently, the firm read a New York Times article about a lawsuit filed in Wisconsin against Pop Warner by the family of a football player who committed suicide. Their son was later found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.), a degenerative brain disease.
According to the Times article, the lawsuit seeks at least $5 million in punitive damages for the death of Joseph Chernach, who died in 2012 at age 25. Among other items, the complaint lists that Pop Warner did not teach players how to wear helmets properly or use the safest helmets, nor limited the amount of hitting in practice.
In terms of legal arguments, the Times reports that there could be a challenge in proving that C.T.E. led to Chernach’s suicide along with documenting that any head trauma he sustained in Pop Warner had led to his death (he played other sports as well). A medical expert interviewed for the story said C.T.E. could only be diagnosed posthumously, but also noted that Chernach’s case “was evidence of repeated head trauma, not necessarily concussions.”
Berkowitz and Hanna LLC has reported on CTE cases previously and will continue to update this evolving legal issue.
Please note: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC does not represent any of the parties in this case.
Photo by John McStravick via Flickr.com