On Friday, the opening statements were given to a Los Angeles jury in the case brought by the widow of a former University of Southern California football player who claims that the NCAA violated her husband’s constitutional rights by failing to provide adequate protection against his exposure to repeated head trauma.
Alana Gee claims in her wrongful death lawsuit that her husband Matthew Gee, who played linebacker for the 1990 Rose Bowl champion team, had lifelong brain damage from repeated strikes to the head. Matthew Gee died in 2018. He was 49 years old.
Long opening arguments from both sides were presented to the Los Angeles Superior Court jury of eight women and six men, as well as Gee and two of her three children.
Gee and her daughter Melia wiped their tears with tissues as the lawyers detailed her husband’s history of drug and alcohol abuse.
According to Justin Shrader, one of Gee’s lawyers, the figure is based on the couple’s marital support payments and her husband’s expected lifespan. According to him, Gee is also claiming surviving damages, as well as compensation for the loss of her husband’s companionship and wrongful death.
Although hundreds of college football players have filed wrongful death and personal injury cases against the NCAA in the previous decade, Gee’s is just the second case to go to trial with claims that concussions were caused by repeated blows to the head. It may be the first case of its kind to go to trial.
The National Football League has been the target of similar concussion lawsuits, and the league ultimately settled for up to $4 million per death related to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is common among athletes and military veterans. Assuming six requirements are met, the total dividend amount is projected to be more than $1.4 billion over 65 years.
The National Football League finally admitted in 2016 that there is a relationship between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is linked to memory loss, depression, and progressive dementia, after years of denying the existence of such a link. In other words, it can only be diagnosed postmortem.