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NCAA Settles Head Injury Lawsuit, Creates Brain Trauma Testing Fund

By: Joseph Cammarata

On Tuesday July 29, 2014, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit related to head injuries sustained by college athletes. As part of the settlement, the NCAA will create a $70 million fund to be used for diagnosing current and former players who may have suffered traumatic brain injuries playing contact college sports, including football, hockey, and soccer. The NCAA has also agreed to create a better return-to-play policy that establishes clear standards for how teams must treat players who suffer head injuries.

NCAA Concussion Lawsuit

While the settlement will make college sports safer for future student athletes as they prepare for careers in professional organizations or careers as everyday working men and women, it does not set aside funds for players who suffered brain trauma.

In similar concussion and head-injury lawsuits, most notably the NFL concussion lawsuit, settlements set aside funds to pay players and families who suffered traumatic brain injuries during their careers. With the NCAA settlement, no such fund was created, which means student athletes will have to sue individually to recover compensation.

Reducing Brain Injury Risks in Sports

According to the settlement, all current and former NCAA athletes who played designated sports will be able to receive diagnostic testing and possibly file damage claims. To further reduce risks of brain injuries in current and future athletes, the NCAA will also mandate concussion education for coaches and athletes and require players to take baseline neurological testing at the beginning of each year.

Now that the NCAA has agreed to the settlement, a U.S. District Judge will need to approve settlement terms, which could take months. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. will continue to keep you informed about the NCAA settlement and other similar news involving traumatic brain injuries in sports. If you are a player who has suffered a concussion, or other traumatic brain injury, call the Washington, DC personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. to discuss your rights, and the best way to proceed forward in light of this settlement.