Wrongful death considered in Pop Warner lawsuit

Competitive sports and youth sports are a part of the American landscape and this is no less true in California. While participation in sports is generally good for a person as an excellent form of exercise, the risk of injury tends to be greater in some sports over others. One sport associated with the risk for severe head injuries is football. Head injuries received in a football game may not be apparent until years later. A recent case near San Diego pitted two mothers against Pop Warner football in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The two women both had sons who played Pop Warner football as children. Both boys, now adults, recently died. One of them, aged 25, died by suicide and the other, aged 24, died in a motorcycle accident; autopsies revealed that both men suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain  injury associated with football players and believed to be caused by frequent strikes to the head. CTE cannot be diagnosed except posthumously through an autopsy of the brain. It is believed to cause depression and personality issues and has been associated with the deaths of many NFL players, including Junior Seau who died by suicide in 2012.

The women were suing on the grounds that they believed the CTE their sons had been diagnosed with was caused by negligence on the part of Pop Warner. Shortly before the case was to go to trial, the case was rejected by the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The court ruled there was insufficient evidence, though the women have vowed to appeal the decision.

There is still much that is not known about CTE and its ramifications. This would have been the first case against Pop Warner Football. Studies have shown a likely direct connection between repetitive head injuries and CTE. A person in California who lost a loved one as a possible result of a CTE injury might wish to consult with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can review the known facts of the case and help determine whether a wrongful death suit is a viable option.

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