The New York Times had a heart wrenching portrayal yesterday of Mitch White, a former NFL lineman who suffered a severe concussion as a result of one hard, but not out of the ordinary, hit that he experienced in training camp. Apparently, as is common with concussions, his coaches and doctors, and even White himself, initially failed to appreciate the seriousness of the injury that he had suffered. In fact, White continued to try to participate in the practice after taking the hit. More than seven years later, however, his ability to function as a normal adult is highly compromised:
At 34, White is unable to work and is sometimes so debilitated by migraines that he cannot care for his two young daughters. He takes as many as eight medications at a time to ease his headaches, to smooth his erratic moods, to soothe his sleeplessness. He spends much of his time exploring treatments to find relief that rarely lasts longer than a few days: Botox injections, massage, sensory deprivation.
As the article notes, White is one of more than 3,000 former NFL players suing the league over concussions, alleging that it has known for years that concussions are more dangerous, and have more long term consequences, than had generally been thought, but concealed that knowledge from players.
While appreciation for the seriousness of brain injuries seems to be increasing, their lack of outward visibility continue to make it particularly difficult for those who suffer from them to navigate society. As the article notes, while White’s close friends know about his condition, others that he encounters are often confused as to why he spends large chunks of the day in bed.
Burg Simpson is actively involved in this litigation on behalf of other former players, and our attorneys have substantial experience with traumatic brain damages.