A Wisconsin woman filed a $5-million lawsuit against a youth football league in February, blaming it for her son’s suicide. Debra Pyka filed a claim against the Pop Warner “Little Scholars” and its liability insurer in a federal district court in Madison. Pyka said her adult son, Joseph Chernach, hanged himself after sustaining brain injuries while playing football as a teen. Chernach played in the league starting at age 11. He allegedly sustained concussions that weren’t diagnosed at the time, leading to chronic traumatic encephalopathy and post-concussion syndrome. In California as well as Wisconsin, when someone else’s negligence is the cause of a brain injury, the victim has the legal right to sue for damages by filing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced Pasadena personal injury attorney.
Nearly ten percent of all high school sports injuries are concussions. In the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 170,000 children and teen athletes suffer brain injuries each year playing sports. Thousands more probably go untreated because brain injuries can be hard to identify. Chernach, for example, performed well in school for years until he became a sophomore in college. According to his mother’s lawsuit, that’s when cumulative brain damage started affecting him. Chernach hanged himself in 2012. The family reportedly only found out about the brain injuries after an autopsy was conducted.
If you believe that you or your child has suffered a concussion, seek medical treatment at once. In the Pasadena and Los Angeles area, if another person’s negligence causes an accident that causes a brain injury, you may be able to recover your medical costs, lost wages, and related expenses. After you’ve seen a doctor, arrange promptly to meet with an experienced Pasadena personal injury attorney who can examine your case and discuss your legal rights and options. If you or someone in your family sustains a brain injury, don’t wait to make the call.