Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

NCAA Settles Head Injury Lawsuit

Published on Aug 13, 2014 at 12:22 pm in Personal Injury.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has settled a class-action lawsuit brought by former college athletes claiming to have been injured by concussions during college play. In the proposed settlement in the US District Court in Chicago, the NCAA, the governing body for college sports, will set aside $70 million for the treatment of injured players, and adopt a policy guiding coaches and players as to when current athletes can return to play if they’ve suffered a concussion.

The payout of this settlement is structured differently than the proposed NFL concussion settlement, where the funds will go directly to injured players. The NCAA agreement and $70 million will not go directly to players, but will require individual players to sue separately to make a case for their need for compensation.

The settlement fund applies to current and former college athletes who played contact sports at the more than 1000 NCAA-member colleges, including football, basketball, ice hockey, field hockey, soccer, wrestling and lacrosse.

10 Lawsuits and a Year of Negotiations

The lead plaintiff was Eastern Illinois football player Adrian Arrington, who played his last college football game in 2009. CNN reports that he had been having “weekly seizures, migraines and blackouts from previous concussions on the field.”
In the last game he played, after he was hit so hard that he walked sideways off the field, the coach still wanted to put him back in the game. Arrington’s Dad had to yell at the coach: “He’s not going back in the game! He’s had too many concussions! He’s done playing football!”

Ten different suits were filed, and eventually consolidated in Chicago federal court. Arrington said he had five concussions while playing ball – some were so bad that he couldn’t recognize his parents afterwards. Since leaving college, he has suffered headaches, memory loss, seizures and depression.

NCAA Admits No Wrongdoing

The settlement allows the NCAA to admit no wrongdoing. Plaintiffs estimate that there may be tens of thousands of athletes who will take the tests to measure whether they suffered long-term damage from college head trauma.

The plaintiffs noted a NCAA survey from 2010 that shows nearly half of college trainers routinely put athletes who suffered concussions back into the same game. NCAA data shows that nearly 30,000 concussions were reported in the period from 2004 to 2009.

In 2010, the NCAA required schools to adopt concussion management plans and to keep players out at least one day after a concussion. But plaintiffs argued that the NCAA didn’t enforce the policy, which allowed coaches to continue sending injured players back to play in the same games. During a deposition, a NCAA official said he had no knowledge of any schools being disciplined for not enforcing concussion policies.

The agreement also requires the NCAA to have all current college athletes undertake a baseline neurological test at the start of each season to help medical staff measure the impact of any injury during the year.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

Two Nurses Arrested in Ohio for Nursing Home Resident Neglect

In April 2022, Sunrise Manor nursing home’s director of nursing and assistant nursing director were arrested for allegations of patient neglect. Christina Drake and Jennie Elliott are being investigated following a criminal complaint filed in regard to an incident that occurred in April 2020. The two nursing staff members are facing multiple first-degree misdemeanor charges, […]

Read More

What Injuries Do Unattended Children Most Commonly Suffer?

It is a tragedy when a child is killed or injured in an accident that could have been prevented. Most of the time, it only takes one attentive adult to stop these tragic incidents from happening. The personal injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices look at what injuries unattended children most commonly suffer and⁠—more importantly—how […]

Read More

What Injuries Can Result From Slamming on the Brakes?

No matter how safely you may drive, you will undoubtedly encounter situations in which you will have to take significant evasive maneuvers to avoid a car accident. While avoiding a motor vehicle crash is virtually always preferable to a collision, there are times when the evasive action can also cause harm.

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
Tad Thomas on AVVO
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Tad Thomas on Attorney at Law Magazine
Tad Thomas on Attorney at Law Magazine
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion