Concussion Class Action Suit Filed Against the NCAA by Former Texas Football Player

On Monday, October 27, a former Texas Longhorn football player filed a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA for failing to warn and protect student-athletes regarding the long-term effects of concussions and impacts to the head sustained during football games.

The lead plaintiff, Julius Whittier, was an offensive lineman for the Longhorns from 1969-72.  Whittier allegedly sustained several severe hits to the head throughout his career there.  The former player, now 64 years old, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in August of 2012.  He did not play football professionally, instead pursuing a career in law, which he has been required to cease due to his condition.  The lawsuit was brought in his behalf by his sister Mildred, and, in a recent interview, his attorney admitted that Whittier is now “totally disabled.”

The lawsuit alleges that the NCAA breached its constitution by not protecting the health of its players and by not providing a safe environment.  Furthermore, it alleges that the NCAA failed to educate the players on the known risks of head trauma and concussions.

Whittier seeks damages at a minimum of $5 million and maxing out at $50 million for a class of “All former NCAA football players residing in the U.S. who played from 1960-2014 who did not go on to play professional football in the NFL and who have been diagnosed with a latent brain injury or disease.”

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