Former Duke football player Derrick Lee filed a class-action lawsuit against the University, the ACC and the NCAA Wednesday, claiming the defendants were negligent in dealing with players' head injuries.
Lee's lawsuit was one of four similar suits filed Wednesday by law firm Edelson PC in district courts across the country for players asserting that they still suffer from the effects of concussions that occurred during their college football careers. The three other suits filed Wednesday were filed on behalf of players from Ohio State, Tennessee and Michigan.
"Defendants Duke, the ACC and the NCAA have kept their players and the public in the dark about an epidemic that was slowly killing their athletes," states the filing for Lee's lawsuit, which can be fully viewed below.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, declined to comment until the suit could be reviewed more thoroughly.
Edelson PC filed six similar lawsuits on behalf of players from Penn State, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Georgia, Oregon and Utah last month.
Lee—who played for the Blue Devils from 1998 to 2003—alleges that Duke, the ACC and the NCAA failed to implement guidelines to prevent repeated head injuries, protocols to manage concussions and procedures to educate players about the risks associated with playing before 2010, despite knowing about the dangers for several years.
Lee's class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all Duke football players from 1953 to 2010, the year in which the NCAA required schools to implement concussion management plans for all sports.
The lawsuit alleges that Lee suffered several concussions during his time as a college player that have affected him since he stopped playing football and notes that Duke coaches encouraged players to both suffer and inflict head injuries to help the football program and generate revenue.
The full lawsuit can be viewed below:
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