Colleges Hid Brain Risks, Football Class Actions Claim

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By Steven M. Sellers

June 9 — Three college athletic conferences and the NCAA didn't do enough to protect legions of football players from the adverse effects of concussions, according to four class complaints filed June 8 ( Strinko v. Big Ten Conference, N.D. Ill., No. 16-cv-05988, filed 6/8/16 ).

The actions, which join similar suits filed by former football players in May, seek compensation for injuries caused by a “reckless disregard for the health and safety of generations” of athletes at Duke, Ohio State, Michigan and Tennessee dating to the early 1950s.

“The ten cases we have filed so far all aim to provide meaningful compensation to players for the real and ongoing injuries resulting from head injuries sustained while playing college football,” plaintiffs' attorney Christopher Dore, of Edelson's Chicago office, told Bloomberg BNA June 9.

The latest actions filed in the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Indiana take on the National Collegiate Athletic Association—as well as the Big Ten Conference, Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Steve Strinko (University of Michigan), Raymond Griffin (Ohio State University), Derrick Lee (Duke University) and Orenthal James Owens (University of Tennessee) seek damages for a proposed class that would include only former football players at the schools.

A $75 million proposed class settlement between former student-athletes and the NCAA is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (17 CLASS 114, 2/12/16).

That agreement includes former athletes in an array of sports, but contemplates medical monitoring and safety protocols—not personal injury claims like those alleged in the recently-filed complaints.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven M. Sellers in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at and Jeffrey D. Koelemay at

For More Information

Steve Strinko's complaint is available at

Raymond Griffin's complaint is available at

Derrick Lee's complaint is available at\

Orenthal Owens's complaint is available at

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