Three former college football players suing NCAA over concussions

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

Three former college football players are suing the NCAA, claiming that the institution failed to educate players and disclose the risks of concussions, and the lead attorney from the ongoing O'Bannon lawsuit is handling the class-action suit.

Chris Walker and Ben Martin, two former Tennessee players (2007-11), along with Dan Ahern, a former North Carolina State player (1972-76), filed the suit in federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Wednesday.

The suit alleges that the NCAA didn't do enough to assess, treat and prevent brain trauma following concussions. The plaintiffs are seeking an NCAA-funded medical monitoring program for former football players.

"Plaintiffs and the members of the Class have no adequate remedy at law in that monetary damages alone cannot compensate them for the increased risks of long-term physical and economic losses associated with brain injury," the suit states, via the Birmingham News.

"Such relief should have been provided by the NCAA decades ago to its players, but even today it is sorely needed for former players," the complaint stated. The lack of acknowledgement about the impact of concussions constitutes "negligence and reckless endangerment," according to the suit.

Nine different law firms are part of the case, including attorney Michael Hausfeld, who is overseeing the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit -- another suit against the NCAA alleging that the association profited from player likenesses.

Hausfeld said that he first heard about former NCAA athletes concerned about the impact of concussions while working the O'Bannon case, according to the Birmingham News.

He was also intrigued after the NFL's decision last month to settle the concussion lawsuit for $765 million.

This latest NCAA concussion suit is similar to one filed in Illinois in 2011. That complaint is currently seeking class-action approval from a judge, but the NCAA is considering a settlement.

"To some extent our two suits overlap in part," Hausfeld told the paper, adding that there will be many more named plaintiffs. "The suit that's been going on only seeks to represent more current players. We go further back. They only seek to represent 18 states. We're going for the entire country. It's a much more inclusive class of athletes."

 
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