HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National plaintiffs litigation firm Raizner Slania LLP filed a landmark number of concussion claims against The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), as well as several Division 1 universities and athletic conferences. The six class action lawsuits, filed in various courts around the country, seek compensation on behalf of classes of former athletes from Penn State University, Auburn University, the University of Oregon, University of Georgia, University of Utah, and Vanderbilt University.
The firm is proud to represent clients in Samuels, et al. v. Penn State University, et al., Case No. 16-CV-5270, In The United States District Court For The Northern District Of Illinois; Cook v. PAC-12 Conference, et al., Case No. 3:16-CV-02630, In The United States District Court For The Northern District Of California; Miller v. Southeastern Conference, et al., Case No. 1:16-CV-01222, In The United States District Court For The Southern District Of Indiana; Hermann v. Southeastern Conference, et al., Case No. 2:16-AT-00572, In The United States District Court For The Eastern District Of California; Walthour v. Vanderbilt University, et al., Case No. 6:16-CV-00834, In The United States District Court For The Middle District Of Florida; Seals v. Western Athletic Conference, et al., Case No. 2:16-CV-00412, In The United States District Court For The District Of Utah.
The complainants allege that the NCAA, conferences including the Big 10, SEC, PAC-12, WAC and several major universities breached their duties to student-athletes by concealing the dangers of concussions and failing to implement appropriate safety protocols. For decades, the NCAA, along with the major conferences and universities, has been aware that severe head impacts can lead to long-term brain injury, including memory loss, dementia, depression, and CTE, but actively concealed these facts from student-athletes and the public.
Despite being advised by physicians and researchers of the severe risks associated with playing football, including the risks associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI), the defendants continued to expose their student-athletes to an extreme risk of harm and failed to timely adopt guidelines for concussion management until years after generations of student-athletes had been impacted.
Claimants allege that NCAA and the other defendants ignored the medical risks to college football players; aggravated and enhanced medical risks to college football players; failed to educate college football players about the link between TBIs in amateur football and chronic neurological damage, illnesses, and decline; failed to implement or enforce any system that would reasonably have mitigated, prevented, or addressed TBIs suffered by college football players; and failed to timely implement “return to play” guidelines for student-athletes who sustain concussions.
Even when defendants began to make changes, their policies remained flawed, to the lifelong detriment of thousands of 18 to 22 year olds. These deficient policies were implemented far too late for the putative class of college football players, who suffered reasonably foreseeable harm as a result of the NCAA’s actions, and those of its member institutions and conferences.
“While this is a major step for collegiate athletes who have been forced to deal with the lifelong impacts of concussions, we remain disappointed that the NCAA has at every turn sought to avoid accountability toward generations of players who entrusted their well-being to this organization,” said Raizner. “We fully expect to file a number of additional lawsuits in the coming weeks and months.”
The NCAA concussion litigation is led by a group of national plaintiffs litigation lawyers, including Jeff Raizner, who has 25 years of legal experience. He is one of only a select few Texas trial lawyers to become Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He devotes his time to mass action and class action litigation, including pharmaceutical and medical device products and insurance claims. Raizner has been selected to serve in a leadership position in multiple plaintiff steering committees in various consolidated litigations. He has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America multiple times and Martindale-Hubbell has honored him with its AV Preeminent Rating, its highest possible rating for both ethical standards and legal ability. He is a Past President of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, one of the largest trial lawyer associations in the country, and a former Executive Committee member of Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Raizner has been named as a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2007, and also as a Top Lawyer in H Texas Magazine and Houstonia Magazine for multiple years. He is licensed in multiple states, including Texas, Arizona, and Missouri, and admitted to practice in federal courts across the country.