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Former Ball State football player files class action lawsuit over concussions suffered in the ’90s

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a fall or blow, jolt or bump to the head that causes the brain and head to move back and forth rapidly. While most recover from mild concussions quickly, the young and the elderly can have symptoms that last for days or weeks.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A former football player for Ball State University filed a federal class action lawsuit over concussions he suffered in the 1990s.

The defendants in the lawsuit are the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. (NCAA).

The former player, Geoff Donner, currently lives in Texas. According to the lawsuit, there are 100 individuals involved in this case. They are seeking more than $5 million.

In the lawsuit, Donner alleges that he did not receive appropriate medical care as he suffered through at least three concussions between 1993-95. He now deals with dementia, depression, memory loss and other side effects from the concussions, according to the lawsuit.

The suit also alleges that Ball State University did not comply with a guideline that states a player shouldn’t be permitted to return to a game or practice after a head injury occurred. The NCAA nor the MAC enforced this guideline, the suit says.

In one incident laid out in the lawsuit, Donner said he tried to sit out a practice due to a concussion, but was told he would lose his scholarship if he didn’t attend practice.

NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy issued the following statement:

These lawsuits are mere copycats — using the exact same language — of the approximately 30 cases this lawyer has filed in a matter of months. Failing to achieve a bodily injury component to the Arrington case settlement, it appears that counsel is attempting to extract a bodily injury settlement through the filing of these new questionable class actions. This strategy will not work. The NCAA does not believe that these complaints present legitimate legal arguments and expects that they can be disposed of early by the court.

Read the full lawsuit here.

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