Speaking Point: 1) Last week, NFL great Junior Seau committed suicide. In recent years, other NFL players such as Dave Duerson, Andre Waters and Ray Easterling have also taken their lives.
Speaking Point: 2) Who is Dave Duerson? A former great NFL cornerback for the Bears (’85 Champions), Giants and Cardinals who committed suicide by intentionally shooting himself in the chest in order to preserve his brain for CTE research. Dave Duerson was also a potential U.S Senator who may have prevented President Obama from ever serving the Oval office.
Speaking Point: 3) Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease in individuals with a history of concussions and other forms of head trauma
Speaking Point: 4) What about high school football players? Evidence shows that teenage brains are fragile where concussions can lead to memory loss, amnesia, low GPA and even serious brain damage. Pop Warner too?
Speaking Point: 5) The NFL argues an “Assumption of Risk” for its players. Meaning, receiving a concussion while playing football is an inherent risk of the game. Under California law, the case of Avila v. Citrus Community College District examined an injured baseball player who sued the opposing team (Citrus Community College) after intentionally being hit in the head by the pitcher while at bat. The court denied Citrus Community College District liability stating the pitcher’s action was barred by the theory of “Assumption of Risk.”
Speaking Point: 6) What about a Duty to warn? Arguably, the NFL had a Duty to Warn its players about concussions (and its research and discovery) when it initiated its Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee (MTBIC) in 1994.
Speaking Point: 7) Good Samaritan Law: Generally, unless a caretaker relationship (e.g., parent/child or doctor patient) exists prior to the injury, or the “Good Samaritan” is responsible for the peril, then there is no duty to give aid to the injured person. For example, if a bystander witnesses a person drowning, generally, there is no duty to help. However, if the bystander chooses to save the drowning person, then he/she acquires an affirmative duty to act in a reasonable manner. If the bystander does not act reasonably, then he/she may be liable for wrongful death.