By: Daniel S. Chamberlain, Attorney
Acquired brain injury affects more than 3 million Americans per year. This includes car wrecks, falls, Service Members injured in combat and NFL Players injured in practice or play. The economic impact of brain injury is more than 80 billion dollars per year. The impact is even greater to the survivor’s family that take care of and love their family members that suffered a traumatic brain injury. Many times the family member looks perfectly normal, yet is significantly different.
Brain injury is a chronic, lifelong on-going disease process. There is no cure for brain injury. Prevention is the only cure.
When Frank Gifford died at age 84, many thought that he had a terrific life. Mr. Gifford was a father, husband, pro football player and NFL commentator. While the foregoing are true, the real story is much different.
This former NFL player suffered many concussions or brain injuries while playing college and pro football. The cumulative affect of brain injury can and is devastating. Each concussion compounds the effect of brain injury. When Mr. Gifford passed, his family provided his brain for intensive analysis to the Sports Institute at Boston College to determine whether he suffered brain injury while playing football. The pathology answer … yes, Mr. Gifford suffered from a brain injury (CTE).
Gifford suffered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). There is no cure for CTE because it is a brain injury. CTE is only diagnosable upon death. CTE is compensable via the NFL settlement for all NFL players who retired prior to July 2014. Most brain injuries include confusion, agitation, headaches, memory loss and other neurological issues.
While most people would agree that NFL players understand that players can suffer broken bones, paralysis, quadriplegia or a brain injury … none appreciated the fact that repetitive brain injury can cause long term issues and CTE.
Actor Will Smith is starring in a movie concerning brain injury and CTE which will be released in 2015 featuring Dr. Omalu and his research of brain injury and CTE. Did the research discover CTE and brain injury in NFL players? Not really. It must have been known that impact sports caused brain injury since the early 1930’s in studies involving professional boxers injured in matches.
For players like Gifford, Duerson, Seau and Phillips … what are the legal options? The NFL settlement is the largest of its kind … ever. Players and their families will be entitled to collect money based on the number of eligible seasons the player completed, diagnosis, age and prognosis. Based on a formula, the player will be able to collect money. The NFL settlement will be on-going for 65 years.
Cohen & Malad, LLP is a nationally recognized and Indianapolis, Indiana based AV rated law firm that represents NFL players that suffered brain injury. Should you have any question about how to make a claim on behalf of a retired player or a family member of a loved one, please contact Dan Chamberlain via phone at 317-636-6481 or email [email protected] to discuss potential legal remedies in the NFL litigation.