Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Case of Young Athlete With CTE

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Death of Young Athlete With CTE

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Case of Young Athlete With CTE

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. The father of a former Ohio high school football star has filed a lawsuit against the makers of helmets worn by his son since he was eight years old. The suit alleges that due to the faulty design of the helmets, his son developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. The young man died after suffering a seizure in 2016 and drowned. An autopsy showed that he had the characteristic lesions of CTE.  

Details of the Lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed in Montgomery County common pleas court on May 29 by Darren Hamblin. The lawsuit cites wrongful death, negligence, and fraud. The companies that manufactured the helmets, Riddell Inc. and Schutt Sports and several other businesses, including E.B. Sports Corp and R.B.G. Holdings Corp, were named in the lawsuit. Damages sought in the lawsuit are not known.

Reason for the Lawsuit

Cody Hamblin was a football player from 2001 to 2011. The lawsuit states that despite a growing body of evidence about CTE and traumatic brain injury, there are no standards for safety applicable to young players. The players and their parents relied on these companies to protect them from harm. The lawsuit states that since the year 2000, the companies knew that if a blow to the head involved sufficient force, a concussion would result in spite of wearing a helmet. This information, the lawsuit alleges, was not conveyed.

How Cody Hamblin Died

According to the lawsuit, the 22-year-old man was fishing with his grandfather in Fayetteville, Ohio. Suddenly, Hamblin had a seizure and fell over the side of the boat. According to his father, the young man went straight into the water and drowned without trying to surface or save himself. Although the autopsy revealed the lesions associated with CTE, Hamblin’s condition was unknown before this. CTE is usually diagnosed by examining the brain at the time of autopsy.

Why the Helmets Were Deficient

The helmets were made to protect adults. The lawsuit claims that helmets designed for young players require different standards than those for older, mature athletes. Young brains are more susceptible to injury. Also, the effects of the injury can be realized sooner than they would in an adult. Hamblin said that despite knowing the differences, the company did not pursue this when manufacturing the helmets.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Members of a person’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit if another individual or company has been negligent, resulting in the demise of their loved one. A company has the responsibility to provide consumers with a safe product, one that they can trust. If the manufacturer/designer/retailer reneges on this obligation and someone dies as a result, the family may file a wrongful death claim.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Some of the primary causes of wrongful death are:

  • Bicycle/pedestrian accidents: If someone is struck by a negligent driver while riding a bicycle or walking and dies, the motorist can be the object of a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Car accidents: Negligent drivers, including those who are intoxicated, impaired by drugs, distracted or aggressive are a leading cause of fatalities nationwide.
  • Medical errors: Medical malpractice, involving physician and hospital negligence, leads to many wrongful death lawsuits.
  • Truck accidents: Due to the violent nature of a truck accident, wrongful death claims are often complex and substantial.
  • Criminal acts: Oftentimes, a wrongful death lawsuit will follow a criminal act. If the death ended in a legal conviction, the evidence can be used as part of the claim, serving to substantiate the wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Product Liability: Manufacturers, product designers, and retailers are responsible for ensuring safety. If someone is harmed by a product due to failure to uphold this responsibility or if hazard warnings are not issued, the company can be sued for wrongful death.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. If you have lost a family member due to negligence by another person or company, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. While this does not reduce the emotional impact the person’s death brings, it does help with expenses such as funeral and burial costs. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 anytime for compassionate, free and friendly advice.

I’ve helped numerous people in Sacramento with wrongful death claims, product liability and traumatic brain injury.

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You can see how I resolved other cases by looking at my settlements and verdicts.

I am a California member of the milliondollaradvocates. As a group of trial attorneys, we have secured a minimum verdict of $1 million or more for a past client.

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/football-youth-league-action-1623096/

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