JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- A former Jacksonville University football player is suing the university, alleging the school did not properly treat concussions he suffered while playing for the Dolphins which led to permanent injuries.
The negligence suit was filed March 31 by Jarrius Lindsey , a running back for the 2012-2013 Dolphins. The suit names the university, Jacksonville University Sports Medicine, and head trainer Doug Frye.
“Jacksonville University took a calculated risk by not implementing the necessary safety precautions for student-athletes,” attorney Willie Gary, Lindsey said in a statement.
“As a result of their negligence, this young man will never be able to fully enjoy life. For the remainder of his years, he will suffer from a traumatic brain injury, memory loss, excruciating pain throughout his body, headaches, depression and anxiety. There is no amount of money that will ever be able to replace his quality of life, but we hope that our pursuit of justice will force Jacksonville University to stop putting the lives of their student-athletes at-risk. ”
The suit says Lindsey suffered a severe concussion in a March scrimmage in 2012 when he received "big blow." from a defensive player. The suit says he was tested twice that April, showing he had not returned to baseline status.
The suit suggests they allowed Lindsey to return to play without any further testing. The suit also alleges that the school did not counsel Lindsey about the risks of returning to football.
He returned to practice and suffered another concussion in August, the suit alleges.
"Had the Defendants properly evaluated and monitored Mr. Lindsey through using proper, adequate, and objective post-concussion testing, including exertional maneuvres, they would have recognized that he had not recovered from the prior brain injury, and prevented him from returning to play." the suit alleges.
The suit says he was once again cleared to play. He suffered a shoulder injury in a September 2012 game and did not return to play again until 2013.
The suit says on September 7 of that year, he was involved in a collision that left him "dazed" and caused ringing in his ears. The suit says he told a trainer he felt dazed but was told to return to the game.
A week later, the suit says Lindsey suffered a "blow to his upper back which caused his head to violently jerk back and forth." The suit says Lindsey refused to go back in the game after being told "nothing was wrong with him."
"As a result, Mr. Lindsey continues to suffer from headaches, depression, anxiety, suspiciousness, insomnia, memory problems, and inability to concentrate."
The suit says Lindsey has been diagnosed with "Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from Concussions, Major Neurocognitive Disorder due to TBI, Psychotic Disorder due to another medical condition (TBI) with delusions, weight gain and insomnia." The suit says Lindsey's injuries are severe and permanent and he cannot be left unsupervised.
In total, the suit says Lindsey suffered four concussions while practicing or playing for the Dolphins.
In early October 2013, Lindsey was told by an orthopedic surgeon not to participate in contact sports due to "cervical pathology."
An amended complaint was filed April 4, the same day the defendants were served.
The university released the following statement to First Coast News Thursday afternoon.
"It is the policy of Jacksonville University not to comment on any pending legal matters. The safety and welfare of students is of the highest importance to Jacksonville University, both for our student-athletes and for our general population. We take very seriously all issues related to the health, safety and well-being of our athletes, both on and off the field. Our outstanding professional personnel are highly skilled with many hours of preparatory training to ensure that safety is the No. 1 priority. They maintain a student-centered focus on safety at all times, in all aspects of their duties and responsibilities."