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Wrongful Death Suit Filed by Family of Junior Seau

By Brian Chase on January 25, 2013 - No comments

Junior SeauJunior Seau was a favorite among NFL fans and when he committed suicide back in May of 2012, people everywhere were shocked.

Most never suspected he had any issues that would lead him to take his own life.  On that tragic day, Seau’s  girlfriend discovered the body  which had taken a  gunshot to the chest, and the rumors started swirling as to why he would take his life.

Was there something going on in his life that would make him so desperate?  People speculated gambling debts, drug abuse, severe personal problems but everyone that knew Junior said that was not the case.

In the months after his death there was a lot of rumbling about whether he suffered from brain disease brought on by traumatic brain injuries while playing football for the NFL.

A 12 time pro bowl champion and  Chargers Hall of Famer, Seau had fans worldwide who enjoyed his passionate and aggressive playing style and sweet disposition.   Seau was a native of San Diego California and the San Diego Chargers drafted him in 1990.  Junior retired from football in 2010.

At the time of Junior Seau’s death people everywhere thought he must have had some pretty deep dark secrets to have killed himself at the age of 43. With a beautiful home, plenty of money and fame along with friends and family who loved him — it seemed Junior had a lot to live for.

Months after his death the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  said that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — a type of brain damage that is chronic in nature and had also been linked to other  football players who are deceased.

There are a lot of conditions that are said to be linked to CTE like;

  • Concussion
  • Dementia pugilistica (This disease is known to affect boxers).
  • Brain trauma — Trauma to the head.
  • Degenerative disease — This takes place over time and can happen for a variety of reasons including aging, diet and lifestyle.
  • Alzheimers disease — Progressive mental deterioration that appears mostly in the elderly.

Seau’s family has filed a wrongful death claim in California against the NFL and it’s making headlines everywhere.  Some thought it’s about time while others say football players clearly understand the dangers of playing a hard hitting head to head contact sport like football.

According to the NYDailyNews, CBS isn’t giving the story much airtime because that would mean they’d have to confront their involvement in putting out a violent sport like football on their network;

Concussion concerns, wrongful death suit filed by family of Junior Seau will go over CBS’ head during Super Bowl.  Here is the real reason this story ain’t seeing the light of day:

Any legit report on the lawsuit might actually force CBS to examine its role, and the role of the league’s other TV partners, in ‘glorifying violence,’ leaving fans with the impression that monster hits don’t lead to serious health problems down the road

For the wrongful death lawsuit, the question will be how much of an affect did the multiple concussions that Seau suffered while playing in the NFL have on him committing suicide.

Junior Seau SuicideClearly, the family and their lawyers will focus on the multiple head injuries that Seau suffered in the years before his death. How it impacted his mental health will be at the forefront on the lawsuit. Whether the claim will settle out of court or go to full trial remains to be seen.

Brain injuries and their severity vary greatly depending on the type of head injury you have. Car crashes, contact sports and other injuries that directly cause blows to the head can result in both short term and long term brain issues.

A type of brain injury that isn’t as commonly talked about but happens more often than we know –  is a secondary brain syndrome in young adults. In young adults the brain is not fully formed and after the initial impact to the brain any subsequent blow can cause permanent damage, death and long term coma. This particular brain injury often affects high school athletes and young adults.

Junior Seau’s death could be directly related to multiple brain injuries resulting in severe depression which could explain the suicide. According to a former player he believes Junior suffered around 1500 concussions throughout his career in the NFL.  Perhaps each one of these “blows to the head” had a severe impact on Junior’s moods, personality and overall mental health.

One has to wonder just how much was lost for Junior’s friends and family on the day he died. The years shaved off his life, the milestones he will miss, his legacy in the NFL, the trauma to his girlfriend, siblings and parents will all be a part of the wrongful death lawsuit. You cant put a price on his life but perhaps this movement by the family will cause positive changes within the NFL to protect players in a better way.

The current speculation, and one that will be at the center of the Junior Seau wrongful death claim will be the link between head trauma resulting in depression and suicide.

(Image credit: Wiki)


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