Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuits on the Rise


Some personal injury lawyers in Colorado are staying busy as more and more brain injury victims come forward. Since the National Football League has paid out $765 million to settle such lawsuits, an increasing number of professional football and hockey players are claiming that their employers should have known of the dangers of brain injury in these sports, but did seemingly little to step up concussion prevention.

A recent lawsuit filed by five former members of the Kansas City Chiefs, cites research on concussion and brain trauma that dates back to the 1920s. The lawsuit also cites a 1937 meeting of the American Football Coaches Association documenting that attendees acknowledged a “keen awareness” of concussion risk.

The five plaintiffs in the brain injury lawsuit are Alexander Louis Cooper, a Chiefs linebacker (1985-1991); Leonard Griffin, Chiefs defensive end (1986-1993); Kevin Porter, Chiefs defensive back (1988-1993); Christopher Martin, Chiefs linebacker (1988-1993), who is joined by his wife in the lawsuit, and Joseph Phillips, Chiefs defensive tackle (1992-1993).

In their lawsuit, the former players claim that the Kansas City Chiefs knew or should have known the seriousness of concussions as early as 1966 when the Congress of Neurological Surgeons released a report on the topic. Court documents state that the plaintiffs claim to suffer from post-concussion syndrome, severe and persistent headaches, depression, mood swings, exclusivity, suicidal ideations and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

Meanwhile, former all-star hockey defenseman, Gary Leeman and nine others, filed a class-action brain injury lawsuit against the National Hockey League (NHL) for failing to take necessary precautions to protect professional hockey players from needless brain injuries.

In the lawsuit, court records refer to a study on brain injuries conducted by the NHL in 1997. As a result of the study, the league created a concussion program; however, according to the plaintiffs, it did nothing to implement the program until 2010, when it added rule 48, the so-called “head check” penalty.

The lawsuit filed in November in US District Court for the District of Columbia, further claims that the NHL purposely concealed the severe risks of brain injuries and consequently exposed the players to needless harm.

The deputy commissioner of the NHL, Bill Daly, released a statement saying the league recognizes that concussions are a serious matter, but it is satisfied with the way player safety was managed by the league and players’ association. He added that the league intends to defend itself “vigorously” against these charges.

Greg-GoldIf you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you will need an experienced and compassionate Denver personal injury attorney to handle your case. At the Gold Law Firm, we work hard to achieve the maximum compensation for all of our clients. Contact Gregory A. Gold of the Gold Law Firm today for a free consultation at (303) 694-4653.

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