Concussions in Youth Sports: Who’s Liable?
On June 7, 2012, Joseph Chernach of Hixton, Wis., committed suicide at the age of 25. An autopsy found that Joseph suffered from CTE, the disease that has been found in the brains of Junior Seau and other former NFL players who also committed suicide. The difference is that Joseph never played in the NFL. He played only Pop Warner football, from 1997 to 2000, from the time he was 11 years old through age 14.
Joseph's mother, Debra Pyka, sued Pop Warner claiming that it knew of the harm related to concussions in youth football and did nothing to inform Joseph or his family. Pop Warner eventually settled the case, leaving its potential liability unclear.