Stanford University hit with a lawsuit over concussions


Stanford University, the Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA have been named in a lawsuit filed last week by the law firm Edelson PC claiming negligence in protecting permanent brain injuries, according to reports by several news sources, including CBS San Francisco.

Former Stanford football player David Burns is named as the main plaintiff, but the suit was filed on behalf of players between 1959 and 2010.

Stanford is one of several colleges and conferences to have been served with complaints. Boston College, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Brigham Young, Penn State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, the Big 10, the SEC, WAC and ACC are also named in various complaints.

The University issued the following statement: "Stanford was surprised to see this lawsuit purporting to be a class action on behalf of football players from 1959 to 2010. Stanford has always acted in the best interests of its student-athletes and their health and safety has been Stanford's paramount concern. Stanford will vigorously defend this lawsuit."

Rules dating from 2011 provide for strict concussion protocol and have been adopted by both the NCAA and NFL. 'Spearing,' or leading with the helmet, has also been outlawed and is considered a major violation.

Whether schools, conferences and the NCAA hid the dangers of brain damage are at the core of these complaints.

Uniform changes, such as larger, padded helmets and netter mouthpieces, have been developed over the years that suggest added protection and Stanford opened a concussion and brain performance center in 2014.

Additional lawsuits are expected.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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4 people like this
Posted by alum
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm

For years, Stanford (like many universities) has brushed aside the danger of brain injury to its student athletes while collecting millions of dollars in television and ticket revenue. Although the NFL seems bent on continuing its campaign of lies, dissembling, and disinformation to the bitter end, I can only hope (as a Stanford alum) that Stanford will do the right thing and step up to compensate (and treat!) players who have incurred brain injuries playing for the Cardinal, while enacting real reform to eliminate brain injuries among athletes. Given its world-class medical center and faculty, and its many student-athletes who have worked hard to put information into their brains, Stanford should really lead the way in reforming football (and other sports as needed such as soccer) in the Pac-12 as well as the NCAA in general.

7 people like this
Posted by fatherof3
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm

And so it begins: the unraveling of college football programs. It was inevitable, and unless the schools agree to convert their full contact football programs to flag football, we should be witnessing the beginning of the end of college football as we know it. Very sad, but if action is not taken, now that so much is known about the effects of head trauma, then all those who continue to participate, run, coach, govern and cheer (and make money off of) will be complicit and should be held accountable. I freely admit I was a part of the cheering crowds, and now I'm feeling guilty about it, especially the last couple of years when the evidence started to pile up, but hey, Stanford has been on quite a roll, so what the heck. OK, now all you Cardinal fans, you can pile on and tell me to go take a hike. What I can say to you is, when you are willing to place your brain in harms way for the entertainment of others, you may have some part of a leg to stand on continuing to root them on.

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