Former College Football Player Sues University for Long-Term Injuries

Earlier this month, a former football player for the University of California, Berkeley, has filed suit against the regents of the University, as well as several others, seeking damages for the long-term injuries he sustained as a result of his participation in the school’s football program. According to a local California news report, Bernard Hicks played in the position of safety for the Golden Bears for a period of about four years between 2004 and 2008. In all, Hicks played 32 games with the team.

good-game-1540547Evidently, during his tenure with the team, Hicks suffered numerous concussions during both games and practices. After leaving the team in 2008, Hicks alleges that he suffered from permanent and debilitating injuries, including depression, suicidal thoughts, memory loss, and problems with his vision.

The lawsuit, which also names the school’s head coach and athletic trainer, claims that the school should have been more proactive in educating the players regarding the long-term risks of neurological damage associated with participating in a high-impact sport such as football. Hicks claims that, had he been properly educated about the risks involved, he would have not participated or at least taken off more time in between games to allow himself to heal.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and High-Impact Sports

It has been known for some time now that repeated head or spinal cord injuries can result in long-term neurological damage. One of the more severe diagnoses that can result from repeated head traumas is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain that is often found in athletes who participated in high-impact sports. The disease can only be diagnosed post-mortem, so it is impossible to say a living person has CTE. However, doctors can provide probable diagnoses by looking for the symptoms of CTE, including:

  • Memory loss,
  • Confusion,
  • Impaired judgment,
  • Suicidal thoughts,
  • Aggression, and eventually
  • Dementia.

Mr. Hicks’ lawsuit is similar in nature to one filed against the National Football League by thousands of former players, many of whom claimed to have suffered similar symptoms to those alleged above. That lawsuit resulted in years of litigation and was just recently resolved earlier this year, when the NFL agreed to pay out some $765 million in damages to former players and their families.

Have You Suffered as a Result of Your Participation in a High-Impact Sport?

If you or a loved one has recently suffered similar symptoms to those listed above, and you believe that they may have been caused by participation in a high-impact sport such as football, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you cover the costs of the medical care you have received in the past and also what you may need in the future. The skilled personal injury advocates at the Washington D.C. injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. have decades of combined experience holding negligent parties responsible for the injuries they caused to their clients. To learn more about these types of lawsuits, and to set up a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case, call 410-654-3600 today.

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Investigation Continues in Accident that Seriously Injured Comedian Tracy Morgan and Killed One Other, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, August 13, 2015

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