The attorneys at CaseyGerry specialize in serious personal injury and traumatic brain injury cases, and are at the forefront of the complex medical issues related to brain injury. These include chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease thought to be caused by repeat concussions or blows to the head, and second impact syndrome, a condition in which the brain swells rapidly after a person suffers a second concussion.
Both syndromes are potentially catastrophic. SIS is especially prevalent among adolescents due to the developing brain’s susceptibility to injury. A second impact can cause significant swelling. Because the brain is more susceptible to injury after an initial blow, it takes minimal force to cause irreversible damage. With equally devastating consequences, CTE, which can cause depression and erratic behavior, has also drawn increased scrutiny in recent years, with public concern mounting following the high-profile suicides of several former professional athletes, most recently Junior Seau.
Working with Cooley LLP, CaseyGerry is representing the four children of Seau, the former San Diego Chargers player who committed suicide last year at age 43.
Following Seau’s death last May, his family donated his brain to researchers at the National Institutes for Health conducting ongoing research on traumatic brain injury and football players. The Seau wrongful death lawsuit claims that the former star linebacker’s suicide last spring was triggered by chronic brain trauma, and that “the NFL knew for decades of the harmful effects of subconcussive and concussive injuries on a player’s brain, actively concealing these facts from the public and the players.”
CTE cases surge, NFL players file suit
In recent years, a significant number of NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE, with more than 4,000 retired players filing lawsuits against the league over alleged failure to educate and protect players from brain injuries.
Meanwhile, NIH scientists recently confirmed that Seau was suffering from CTE at the time of his death. A new study by Boston University noted that CTE symptoms could progress for years after head trauma, with long-term symptoms ranging from depression and short-term memory loss to dementia and aggression. Coincidentally, that study was released on the heels of the tragic murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Belcher’s behavior mirrored that of other NFL players who have committed suicide, including Ray Easterling, Kurt Crain and Dave Duerson.
A history of results
For more than 65 years, CaseyGerry has fought to protect the rights of victims, playing a key role in some of San Diego’s most high-profile cases. In the last year alone, the firm’s attorneys have achieved multimillion dollar settlements for many victims of devastating head injuries – from a seriously injured young football player to those severely injured in cycling, aviation and automobile accidents.
In addition to handling multiple NFL lawsuits, the firm is also one of nine firms throughout the country – and the only one in San Diego – playing a key role on the steering committee for national MDL litigation against the National Football League.