Two separate class action lawsuits have been filed in Indianapolis and San Francisco against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and football helmet maker Riddell for failing to protect college football players against head injuries and educate them about the risks.

The Big 12 Conference is a co-defendant with the NCAA in the suit brought by five former Big 12 football players, including Cory Brandon and Kelvin Chaisson (Oklahoma), Derrick Cherry (Texas Tech), Jarrod Blake Roberts (TCU), and Joe Walker (Texas).

The suit against Riddell, which includes former high school and college players, alleges that the company misrepresented the safety of its helmets, noting that all plaintiffs listed in the cases suffer from some degree of traumatic brain injury from concussions or hits to the head incurred while playing football.

The plaintiffs allege that Riddell used a self-funded scientific study in its marketing to make claims that its helmets significantly reduced the risk of concussion when compared with competitors’ helmets. In a statement made to the Associated Press, Riddell dismissed the suit against it as “meritless litigation.”

In the suit against the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference, the plaintiffs claim that these organizations “breached their duty to provide a ‘safe environment’ and specifically failed to warn players of the long-term risks associated with repeated concussive and sub-concussive hits.”

In addition, the suit blames the NCAA for “failing to educate players on head injury prevention, failing to timely implement rules of play that would limit head injuries, failing to timely implement return to play rules after concussions occurred, and failing to cover the cost of post-collegiate medical care necessary as a result of the defendants’ bad acts.”

In 2016, a judge ruled in a similar case that one large class action concussion lawsuit could not be filed against the NCAA.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or injustice, the experienced personal injury legal team at Roberts & Roberts is here to help with compassionate, aggressive representation. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.

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