Football is arguably one of America’s richest and most popular sports. Forbes predicted that 2016’s Super Bowl 50 brought in roughly $620 million of revenue for the NFL alone. Despite its success, not everyone is reaping the benefits. Players who devoted years of their lives to the game are now fighting to get the recognition and compensation they deserve for serious injuries sustained during their careers.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
After several studies and years of debate starting back in 2005, the NFL formally recognized the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in March of 2016 at a round table discussion with the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease thought to be caused by heavy brain injury, such as repeated blows to the head. Symptoms are similar to Alzheimer’s and can include memory loss, inability to multitask and behavioral changes. A study performed by researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University identified the disease in 96 percent of NFL players they examined and in 79 percent of football players overall. Despite the evidence the NFL denied the connection between their sport and the disease for some time.
Taking Legal Action
In April 2015 the federal court approved a $1 billion class action concussion settlement between the NFL and families of players who had died from or were suffering due to traumatic brain injuries. The players accused the league of not warning people of the danger associated with the sport and intentionally hiding the results of incriminating scientific studies.
Despite the success of the settlement, nearly 40 players rejected the results and filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. Because of the nature of the disease, it was previously assumed that CTE could not be diagnosed with 100 percent accuracy unless a patient was already deceased. Tim Howard, the attorney representing the group of players, argues that scientific developments have now made it possible to find CTE during a player’s lifetime.
The current lawsuit now seeks to have CTE officially classified as an occupational hazard by the NFL, and filed under the league’s workers’ compensation programs. The goal is to not only protect players who are currently suffering from the disease, but also those in the future who will undoubtedly develop symptoms.
Attorneys in South Carolina
If you or a loved one are fighting for medical treatment or your paycheck after a work-related injury, or are getting pushed around by insurance companies on other injury cases, contact the team at Farnsworth Law Offices today. Our attorneys focus specifically on work injuries, wrongful death claims, and other injury cases, as well as DUI defense and Criminal Law. Call them today and let them use their skill to draw up a winning strategy for your case.