By: Allan Siegel
A former student-athlete who played football at the California University of Pennsylvania recently filed a lawsuit against the NCAA alleging that on-the-field concussions led to his devastating condition. Matthew Onyshko, 32, played at California University of Pennsylvania from 1999-2004. He went on to work for the Pittsburgh public schools system before becoming a city firefighter in 2007.
Earlier this year, Onyshko's ALS dramatically worsened. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease – is a neurological condition that affects muscle and motor function. It is a rapidly progressive condition and often results in debilitating symptoms. Researchers have found that former football players face increased risks of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and ALS.
According to the lawsuit, Onyshko claims that he suffered numerous concussions while playing and that the league failed to properly address his injuries. On three separate occasions, Onyshko was knocked unconscious from head injuries, and was allowed to return to every one of those games.
The lawsuit claims that the NCAA knew of the long-term impact of concussions, yet failed to adequately prevent or address Onyshko's chronic on-field injuries. Due to the repetitive brain damage he experienced while playing, Onyshko now suffers from an incurable, debilitating condition and is unable to work as a firefighter. By holding the NCAA accountable for its negligence, Onyshko's attorneys are hoping to recover compensation for past and future medical expenses, emotional damages, and Mrs. Onyshko's loss of companionship.
Onyshko's case is the first personal injury lawsuit brought against the NCAA for injury-related ALS. Earlier this year, former student-athletes filed suit against the NCAA for other various injuries related to concussions. His case is one of many similar lawsuits that have been filed against sports organizations for their failures to properly handle athlete brain injuries.
For more information about the ongoing legal actions involving athlete injuries and long-term brain damage, or to discuss whether you may have a potential claim, contact a Washington, DC personal injury lawyer from Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for a free consultation.