Chelsea Young, wife of the late Chargers safety, Paul Oliver (pictured), has filed a lawsuit against the NFL, her husband’s former teams and helmet manufacturers, according to WSB-TV.
Oliver, who also previously played for the New Orleans Saints, shot himself a year ago at his home in front of his two young boys and spouse. Young filed her suit at a Los Angeles court alleging that her husband’s suicide was the result of the constant hits he took to the head which led to severe bouts of melancholy and depression.
After the 29-year-old player’s death, it was determined that he was also suffering from an advanced case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which is caused by repeated concussions to the head. The NFL determined earlier this year that approximately 3 out of 10 former players will likely develop a degenerative brain disease as a result of being struck in the head repeatedly.
DeKalb County lawyer Bruce Hagen has represented former NFL players who have either died or are in the throes of dementia or other debilitating diseases that were brought on by repeated concussions during their games. Hagan’s roster of clients are part of a nationwide class action lawsuit against the NFL which has offered a $765 million settlement. A ruling on the lawsuit is expected later this year.
Meanwhile Hagan spoke to WSB-TV regarding the class action lawsuit stating, “Some of the stories you hear of guys in their forties they get in the car can’t even find their way home, have no idea how they got there or how they’re going to get back.
Young has, however, reportedly opted to not be a part of the larger class action settlement. According to Hagan, she might not be making a wise move telling WSB-TV, “If the family doesn’t believe that $4 million is sufficient for the value of the loss of life here, they can choose to opt out of that settlement and proceed against the NFL directly. It’s a risky proposition. I don’t know really anybody who we’re advising to do that.”