3 Former College Football Players Sue NCAA In Chattanooga Federal Court Over Concussion Issue

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Three former college football players, including a current Chattanooga resident, have filed suit in Chattanooga Federal Court against the NCAA over the issue of concussions.

The 29-page suit says the NCAA "has breached its duty to protect college football players in the face of long-standing and overwhelming evidence regarding the need to do so. The NCAA has ignored this duty and profited immensely from its inaction and denial, all to the detriment of the players."

It says the NCAA "has failed to educate its football-playing athletes of the long term, life-altering risks and consequences of head impacts in football. They have failed to establish known protocols to prevent, mitigate, monitor, diagnose and treat brain injuries."

The complaint was filed by Chris Walker of Chattanooga, a defensive end for the University of Tennessee 2007-2111; Ben Walker of Knoxville, a defensive end for the University of Tennessee 2007-2111; and Dan Ahern of Pensacola, Fla., an offensive guard for North Carolina State from 1972-1976.

It says Chris Walker during his college career "experienced repeated traumatic head impacts. For example, in the 2009 season he collided with another player in practice and experienced lightheadedness and nausea which he reported to the team trainer. In the same season in a game against the University of Mississippi, Mr. Walker sustained a hit that left him lightheaded and dizzy, and he was temporarily removed from the game. Mr. Walker believes that he suffered other similar head impacts in his college career, but cannot recall them with specificity. After graduation, Mr. Walker has experienced frequent severe headaches that have not been amenable to treatment by over-the-counter medication. Mr. Walker is at increased risk of latent brain injuries caused by repeated head impacts in his college football career and therefore is in need of medical monitoring."

It says Ben Martin during his college career "experienced repeated traumatic head impacts. For example, Mr. Martin recalls an impact to the head in a game against the University of Georgia, most likely during the 2009 season, in which he was blindsided and experienced lightheadedness and dizziness. He recalls returning to play the next time the defense took the field. Mr. Martin believes that he suffered other similar head impacts in his college career, but he cannot recall them with specificity. After graduation, Mr. Martin has experienced frequent headaches. Mr. Martin is at increased risk of latent brain injuries caused by repeated traumatic head impacts in his college football career and therefore is in need of medical monitoring."

The lawsuit says Dan Ahern during his college career "experienced repeated traumatic head impacts. For example, during his freshman year, he suffered a concussion in a spring scrimmage which required a two-night stay in the infirmary for observation. During his sophomore and junior seasons he believes he suffered other concussions, but he cannot recall them with specificity. During his senior year he suffered a concussion during a game against Pennsylvania State University and he was flown to Raleigh, North Carolina and hospitalized for observation. After graduation, Mr. Ahern has experienced an inability to concentrate, poor memory, a ringing in his ears, and sleeping problems. He has also suffered physical ailments and pain associated with these ailments leading to retirement at age 50 and disability as of 2007. Mr. Ahern is at increased risk of latent brain injuries caused by repeated traumatic head impacts and therefore is in need of medical monitoring."

The suit says, "Annual revenues for the NCAA in fiscal year 2007-2008 were $614 million. Almost 90% of the NCAA’s annual budget revenues stem from marketing and television rights, with only 9-10% coming from championship game revenues. The NCAA’s operations are also highly profitable. The direct expenses for operating the actual games that generated the $614 million in revenues were only $59 million."

It asks for a court-supervised, NCAA-funded, comprehensive medical monitoring program for affected foootball players, "which would facilitate the early diagnosis and adequate treatment of brain injury."

The suit, which seeks to become a class action, was filed by a number of leading law firms from around the country.

The case has been assigned to Judge Curtis Collier.





Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news.  Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AQUIRRE, ANTHONY JEREMIAH  315 SOUTHERN DR RINGGOLD, 30736  Age at Arrest: 40 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County INDECENT EXPOSURE --- BRANUM, PHILLIP THOMAS  11379 RAILROAD STREET SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Soddy Daisy EVADING ARREST- ... (click for more)

Tired Of Property Tax Increases

Why is it every time the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County want to raise money they have to punish the homeowners?  I'm sick of the few paying for the many.   If you want to be fair, I would not complain on a 1/2 cent local sales tax raise since everyone would have to contribute their fair share.  Or how about a wheel tax which would get everyone who owns ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where’s God In This?

Over half of Florida is still trying to catch its breath and now there is another murderer, one named Maria, mauling Puerto Rico this morning on her way to the United States. On August 25 Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. It killed an estimated 50 people, displaced more than a million people and damaged some 200,000 homes in a path of more than 300 miles. The bills haven’t been sent out ... (click for more)

Impressive Signal Mountain Whips Red Bank, 3-0

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles have one of the better volleyball teams in town this fall and it’s no surprise that they are unbeaten in district play. They proved just how good they are Tuesday evening in Red Bank’s Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium as they needed about 50 minutes to beat the Lionettes for the second time this season. Set scores were 25-6, 25-7 and 25-15. ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Holds Off Sale Creek For 3-2 Volleyball Win

East Hamilton blew a 2-0 lead, but rebounded in the fifth set Tuesday to beat gutsy Sale Creek 3-2 in high school volleyball action at East Hamilton. “We knew they were a good team, probably the best team we’ve played this season, but I think we gave up after the second game,” East Hamilton’s Jordyn Griffith said. “I think we knew we had it in the bag because we’re a good ... (click for more)