Family members of four former college football players, all deceased, are suing the NCAA over its failure to protect the athletes from life-altering head injuries, according to a media relations firm representing the plaintiffs' legal teams.
The wives of Cullen Finnerty, Jeff Staggs and Rod Stensrud and the mother of Doug MacKenzie filed suit within the past week claiming negligence, breech of express contract and breech of implied contract, and are seeking jury trials and restitution.
The lawsuits allege each individual suffered premature death as a result of brain disease arising from concussions sustained playing football in college. Finnerty played at Grand Valley State University, Staggs at San Diego State, Stensrud at UCLA and MacKenzie at the University of Southern California.
The claims span decades of NCAA oversight, with Finnerty having played college football as recently as 2007, while Staggs' career concluded in 1966. Autopsies of Finnerty, Staggs and Stensrud confirmed each had been suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and results of an examination of MacKenzie's brain are pending.
According to Zumado Public Relations, the law firms bringing these wrongful death suits are also involved in the national NCAA Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation in which more than 100 class action lawsuits filed nationwide by former football players have been consolidated in front of a federal judge in Illinois.