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Massive NFL Brain Injury Lawsuit in Play, Families Continue to Sue
Massive NFL Brain Injury Lawsuit in Play, Families Continue to Sue; September 10, 2013

Germantown, MD: As the National Football League (NFL) sorts through a potential multimillion-dollar settlement with players and their families over brain injury, the family of a Frostburg State University football player who died after a grueling practice at the Maryland campus has filed a brain injury lawsuit alleging wrongful death.

It is further alleged that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which raked in $838 million in revenue last year, does little to educate or protect its players from catastrophic injury, in spite of its origins in the early 1900s as an entity pledged to protect players.

The NCAA is named as defendants in the brain injury lawsuit, along with the school, head coach Thomas Rogish, and Schutt Sports - the manufacturer of the helmet the player was wearing at the time.

According to the lawsuit, Derek Sheely was suited up as a fullback and was part of an intense practice session at pre-season camp allegedly known as an “Oklahoma drill.” A series of grueling, head-to-head collisions involving linebackers and fullbacks such as Sheely exposed the players to successive concussive blows, according to the lawsuit.

At one point, Sheely exited the field bleeding from his forehead during four consecutive practice sessions at the August 2011 camp. However, he returned to the field for additional drills.

Several days later, according to Highlands Today (8/26/13), Sheely reported to an assistant coach that he “didn’t feel right” and complained of a headache. The date was August 22, 2011. Sheely walked off the field, only to collapse into a coma, in which he lingered for six days before he died.

The lawsuit alleges the 22-year-old student was never checked for potential concussions during the grueling practices.

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