Coaches might now think twice before telling players that getting their bell rung is a badge of courage.
Currently, over 2,000 football players have filed class action lawsuits that have now been consolidated into the biggest concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL. Former players contend that the NFL concealed information that linked football-related head trauma to long-term brain damage. The plaintiffs claim the league should be liable for the care of those suffering dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurological conditions.
NFL’s linebacker and no stranger to the Miami Dolphins, Junior Seau, seems to have offered himself up as human evidence. There are strong suspicions that the “Tasmanian Devil” shot himself so that his brain could be studied for possible damage due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Although Seau was not a plaintiff in the filed lawsuits, his estate could benefit from the NFL paying a claim. Let’s imagine for a minute that Seau was a resident of Florida and had not committed suicide. In the case of wrongful death, under the Florida Probate Code, the appointed personal representative of his estate would bring action against the league and seek recovery of damages.
For the average Joe watching Seau from the stands or from home; his or her personal representative would most likely bring a wrongful death claim from an incident of negligence arising from a car accident or medical malpractice. The validity of such a suit would be determined and settlement negotiations made. Consideration would be given regarding the costs and benefits of prolonging probate administration.
In Florida, regardless whether the decedent was a football pro, the personal representative is solely responsible for decisions regarding the estate and must be represented by an attorney unless he or she is the sole interested party of the estate.
With that being said, it will be interesting to see the outcome of this pending lawsuit. It looks like the NFL may be taking a way harder hit then their average player’s 900-1500 headshots per season.
If you have family, friends or even a charitable intent, the absence of an estate plan is inexcusable. For more information on successful Florida estate planning and probate techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free consultation.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?