The suicide of a former NFL linebacker, Junior Seau, in May of last year really caused a stir and served to raise questions surrounding safety in the game of football. As the medical community learns more about the impact of head trauma on brain function, there are serious concerns for athletes of high-impact sports. The concern is for professionals and amateurs alike.
When the National Institutes of Health conducted a case study of Seau's brain after his death, it was found that the football player suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This is a disease that is often found to be correlated to an individual that has suffered repeated trauma to the head and can relate to changes in mood and other brain functions. Obviously, with football there is a large risk for repeated blows to the head.
Seau's family feels that the NFL was not forthcoming in the seriously damaging impacts such repeated blows to the head could inflict on the game's players. According to the Associated Press, as a result of such "acts of omission," and the former football player's subsequent suicide, the family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL. The family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helmet manufacturer for being "negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets."
The NFL denies these claims issued against them, but the outcome of these lawsuits remain to be seen. Hopefully, at the very least there will be even more consideration for the safety and continued health of professional football players.
In Alabama, a family can file a wrongful death claim when a loved one dies because of the negligent or intentional acts of another. Such a claim must be filed within two years of the individual's death. A family could be financially compensated for the suffering of the loved one, as well as the preventable loss the family was subjected to. An attorney can assist a family in understanding if they have a case and how best to proceed.
Source: Alabama Public Radio, "Junior Seau's Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against NFL," Jan. 23, 2013