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Fmr. Vanderbilt Player Files Concussion Lawsuit

Posted at 4:59 PM, May 18, 2016

A former Vanderbilt University football player has filed a lawsuit against two big names in college football: the SEC and the NCAA.  Vanderbilt University has also been named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit centered on an issue that's been in the news a lot lately -- concussions sustained by players on the field of play.

The former athlete bringing the lawsuit, Brandon Walthour, was on the football team from 1999 to 2002.

In his lawsuit, filed by a Chicago law firm, Walthour said in his years on the team, he was subjected to several head impacts and traumatic brain injuries and was never made aware of the risks.

In the lawsuit he said he suffers from deficits in cognitive functioning, reduced processing speed, decline in attention and reasoning, and loss of memory among other side effects.

It also said the NCAA, the SEC, and Vanderbilt University "kept their players and the public in the dark about an epidemic that was slowly killing their athletes."

Walthour has been asking for the defendants to pay damages for past, present, and future medical bills, lost work, lost future earnings, and legal fees.

The attorneys behind the lawsuit have filed similar lawsuits in five other regions across the country, suing various college athletic conferences and universities.

They said their goal has been to make this a class action lawsuit with several former football players being compensated for their injuries.

“We have many clients and many people willing to step up and bring suit not just for themselves, but for people who are just like them, suffering from these issues, who may not want to be on the named lawsuit,” said Rafey Balabanian, one of the attorneys representing Walthour. “This is the start of it, it started yesterday, and it will continue until we are able to achieve relief for our clients.”

NewsChannel 5 contacted Vanderbilt University for comment on the lawsuit, but they did not immediately respond.