When a loved one dies in a tragic accident or is murdered, it is understandable that surviving family members want to hold the individual or individuals responsible for the loved one’s death responsible. One way to do so is to encourage criminal prosecution by Georgia law enforcement, where appropriate, but another way many families hold people liable for a loved one’s death is through wrongful death lawsuits. These civil matters reflect both the irreplaceable value of a loved one’s life, but also serve as an important step in seeking justice for a family member’s death.
While the death of Junior Seau wasn’t an accident or a murder, his family’s wrongful death claim against the NFL mirror many other wrongful death claims. The family blames the NFL for hiding the dangers associated with repeated blows to the head. The helmet manufacturer is also named as a defendant in the case.
Seau was a former linebacker who committed suicide in May 2012. The National Institutes of Health discovered that Seau had suffered from a disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The disease is caused by a victim sustaining repetitive brain injuries. This discovery was made after the organization conducted a postmortem study. The family of the linebacker alleges that the NFL engaged in “decades of deception” regarding continuous head injuries and the effect of these injuries on players’ safety. The NFL denies these claims.
The lawsuit also contained allegations against Riddell Inc., the helmet manufacturer for the NFL. The claim states that the company was negligent in regards to the “design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering” aspects of its production and sale of the helmets.
Source: GPB News, “Junior Seau’s Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against NFL,” Eyder Peralta, Jan. 23, 2013