NFL Team Blamed For Player’s Deadly Rampage

From the AAJ News Brief for John Badal Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Los Angeles Times (12/31, Pearce, 3.07M) reports that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher “was suffering from concussion-related brain damage when he went on a rampage and killed his girlfriend and then himself in 2012, a new lawsuit claims, and the player’s mother wants to hold the team responsible.” Belcher, 25, “shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, nine times before driving to the stadium in Kansas City, Mo., and killing himself in front of team staff on Dec. 1, 2012. In a wrongful-death lawsuit filed Tuesday against the team in Jackson County, Mo., Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, said Chiefs officials ‘directly caused or directly contributed’ to Belcher developing ‘irresistible’ and ‘insane’ impulses because of brain damage he sustained while playing for the team. ‘Over the course of a four-year career in the National Football League, Jovan unknowingly sacrificed his brain in order to provide for his family,’ the lawsuit states. ‘Tragically, the Defendants’ wrongful conduct destroyed multiple lives, tore apart families and ultimately caused or contributed to cause Jovan’s death.’”

The Kansas City (MO) Star (12/31, Mellinger, 1.11M) reports that the suit, filed Tuesday in Jackson County circuit court, “alleges that Belcher ‘unknowingly sacrificed his brain’ during a four-year career with the Chiefs,” and “alleges that the team failed to protect Belcher and his safety and knew, or should’ve known, that Belcher showed signs of cognitive and neuro-psychiatric impairment.” The Star notes that Belcher’s body “was exhumed at the request of his family at the North Babylon Cemetery in Bay Shore, N.Y., two weeks ago,” and his brain “is being examined for evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.”

From the desk of John R. Badal, President of Liever, Hyman and Potter, Reading, PA.  Our firm handles all areas of serious injury claims throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania.

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