The family of a 25-year-old man who had the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy and killed himself in 2012 has sued Pop Warner, according to the New York Times.
The suit alleges that Pop Warner failed to warn players about the dangers of head trauma and protect them. It seeks $5 million in punitive damages for the death of the man, Joseph Chernach.
From the Times:
Pop Warner, the complaint said, failed to train coaches properly, did not use the safest helmets, did not teach players how to wear their helmets properly and did not limit the amount of hitting in practice. The organization also failed to follow concussion protocols published by medical professionals as early as 1997.
The lawsuit claims that Pop Warner’s conduct "was deliberate, an actual disregard of the plaintiff’s right to safety, health, or life, and sufficiently aggravated to warrant punishment by punitive damages."
Chernach was diagnosed posthumously with CTE. He played four years of Pop Warner football and played the sport in high school. He also wrestled for 12 years and was a pole-vaulter on the track team, according to the Times.
- Molly Geary