The family of Junior Seau has donated some of his brain tissue to researchers for study, according to The New York Times. Seau was an NFL linebacker for 17 years, 13 of which he played for the San Diego Chargers. On May 22, 2002, Seau took his own life and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest at the age of 43. Many people speculated that Seau shot himself in the chest in order to preserve his brain so scientists could study the long-term effects of playing football. There has been speculation that Seau suffered from brain damage due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
“He always bounced back and kept on playing,” said Gina Seau, his wife. “He’s a warrior. That didn’t stop him.”
The family donated the tissue to the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
“[The] release of materials for study was done at the request of the next of kin,” said Sarah Gordon, representative for the San Diego medical examiner’s office.
Boston University has studied 19 brains of former NFL players, and 18 were determined to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In June, more than 2000 former NFL players filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL for failing to do more to protect them from traumatic brain injury. The plaintiffs allege that “the NFL exacerbated the health risk by promoting the game’s violence and deliberately and fraudulently misled players.”
“Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit,” the NFL said in a released statement. “It stands in contrast to the league’s many actions to better protect players and advance the science and understanding of the management and treatment of concussions.”
The NFL will have to prove that it took all steps to protect players from these injuries. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego personal injury attorney.