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Former players suing NCAA over concussions

The SportsXchange

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, three former college football players claim that the NCAA failed to educate players about the risks of concussions, the Birmingham News reported.

Former Tennessee players Chris Walker and Ben Martin, and former North Carolina State player Dan Ahern filed the suit in federal court in Chattanooga, Tenn. Walker and Martin played from 2007-11 and Ahern from 1972-76.

The lead attorney, Michael Hausfeld, is also handling the ongoing Ed O'Bannon class-action suit against the NCAA. That suit alleges that the NCAA profited from players' likeness.

The latest suit claims that the NCAA did not do enough to assess, treat and prevent brain trauma following concussions. The plaintiffs are seeking a medical monitoring program for former football players funded by the NCAA.

"Plaintiffs and the members of the Class have no adequate remedy at law in that monetary damages alone cannot compensate them for the increased risks of long-term physical and economic losses associated with brain injury," the lawsuit states. "Such relief should have been provided by the NCAA decades ago to its players, but even today it is sorely needed for former players."

The suit claims the NCAA's lack of acknowledgement about the impact of concussions constitutes "negligence and reckless endangerment."

Including Hausfeld, nine different law firms are part of the case.

The suit is similar to one filed in Illinois in 2011, which is seeking class-action approval from a judge. However, the NCAA is considering a settlement.

"To some extent our two suits overlap in part," Hausfeld said. "The suit that's been going on only seeks to represent more current players. We go further back. They only seek to represent 18 states. We're going for the entire country. It's a much more inclusive class of athletes."

He added that more plaintiffs will be named.
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