Montana residents are well aware that the loss of a loved one due to a sudden accident or long-term injuries may be cause to receive damages for financial and emotional losses. Wrongful death cases may arise if an individual died due to the misconduct or negligence of another party. Of course, individual cases often present unique legal questions that deserve answers.
Residents of Billings may have witnessed the glory days of Junior Seau, who played for 20 seasons in the National Football League. The ex-football player retired in 2009, but tragically died three years later as the result of suicide. Recently, autopsy results confirmed that Seau had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a brain injury which the family alleges resulted from repetitive blows to the head. As such, Seau's surviving family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL.
According to reports, the lawsuit blames the NFL for the brain injury, which catalyzed the player's death. The family asserted that the NFL concealed the danger of continuous head injuries, which football players often experience. The suit also alleges that the NFL ignored and hid the evidence that showed the risk to football players for developing brain injuries while playing football.
Additionally, Riddell Inc., manufacturers of the helmets used by football players in the NFL, is named as a defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit accused Riddell of negligence in engineering, creating, designing, testing and marketing the protective gear.
The suit filed on behalf of Junior Seau's former spouse and children is separate from the other lawsuits leveled against the NFL for brain injuries. Reportedly, over 3,800 players have taken legal action, and there are at least 175 pending cases that involve this issue.
Seau's family understands that filing the wrongful death suit will not bring their loved one back, yet it could be a significant reminder for the NFL to address the issues of brain injuries to players in order to make football a safer sport for everyone. In addition to making a public statement or bringing attention to an important issue, wrongful death lawsuits can provide a family with needed monetary security to help them weather the loss of the loved one.