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Ex-college football players sue NCAA, helmet makers on concussion claims

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Two former University of Washington football players are seeking class-action certification for brain-injury claims against the NCAA and helmet makers, including Riddell Inc.and All-Sports Corp.

Former Huskies quarterback John DuRocher and safety Darrin Harris are the lead plaintiffs in a complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis. The suit seeks to certify a class of former NCAA football players who suffered concussions that led to long-term injuries from chronic headaches to Alzheimer’s disease.

"We have not been served with this Complaint," said Stacey Osburn, NCAA director of public and media relations. "We have reviewed a copy and it appears to use language and raise issues similar to the prior potential class action complaints filed. It is not unusual to see competing class action-styled complaints filed as plaintiff's attorneys try to secure a lead position in consolidated litigation.  Like the other potential class action complaints filed by other plaintiffs' lawyers, we find allegations against the NCAA to be misleading and erroneous."

The complaint claims defendants were negligent because they knew of the risks of traumatic brain injury resulting from concussions and failed to protect or educate athletes or take steps that would have reduced the risks. Former student athletes seek damages including costs of ongoing medical care and monitoring.

DuRocher and Harris are represented by attorneys from Indianapolis-based Cohen & Malad LLP along with the Dugan Law Firm APLC, Barrett Law Group PA and Douglas H. Gill & Associates.

The suit is the second federal head-injury claim brought against the NCAA by a former football player. Former Eastern Illinois player Adrian Arrington sued in the Northern District of Illinois over repeated concussions. A status hearing in that case is scheduled for Oct. 24.

 
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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