Widow files suit against NCAA, claims former USC athlete died from CTE suffered from playing football

Posted at 1:14 PM, Oct 25, 2022

Head injuries in football have recently received a lot of attention and a trial going on now could become a landmark case.

A lawsuit alleges the NCAA failed to protect a former USC football player from head trauma.

The suit filed by Matthew Gee's widow said he died in 2018 at just 49 years old from permanent brain damage.

In the past decade, college football players have brought hundreds of wrongful death and personal-injury lawsuits against the NCAA .

But Gee's case is only the second to go to trial with allegations that hits to the head led to chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

This case could also be the first to reach a jury.

“As we're understanding more and more about the disease, there appears to be more pushback about the positive agents, positive factors when that's actually become more established,” said Dr. Daniel H. Daneshvar a neuroscientist and brain injury physician.

The NCAA's attorney says there is still no consensus in the medical community on what causes CTE.

But just this week, the National Institutes of Health formally acknowledged publicly for the first time that CTE is caused by repetitive traumatic brain injuries.

“The best indicators for whether someone has CTE after they pass away right now appears to be whether they have problems with memory or problems with thinking, or what's called emotional mobility, which basically, means that have a short fuse,” said Daneshvar.

The NCAA blames Gee's death on heavy drinking, drugs and other health problems.

His attorneys say the substance abuse issues were because of his CTE.