Pennsylvania court refuses to restart NCAA former college football player brain injury lawsuit

Nearly two years after a jury found the NCAA was not at fault, a Pennsylvania appeals court refused to restart the trial of a former college football player who claims to suffer serious medical consequences. by brain damage he suffered on the grill.

The Superior Court panel’s decision could mark the end of a six-year legal fight ridden by Matthew Onyshko, a former linebacker who played for the California University of Pennsylvania from 1999 to 2003.

Onyshko attributes his ALS – Lou Gehrig’s illness – and other serious medical conditions that emerged after his playing days on the repeated beatings to the head injuries he repeatedly suffered on the football field. He said he lost consciousness during three of these incidents.

In his lawsuit, Onyshko argued that the NCAA failed to give him adequate warnings about the dangers of concussion injuries and did not have effective guidelines for identifying players at risk due to such injuries and for determining when. or if they could return to the field.

Onyshko’s playing days preceded the medical outcry that prompted the NFL and NCAA to adopt tougher rules around concussion injuries in football by a decade. Huge financial deals have been made to compensate dozens of professional football players for the debilitating brain injuries they suffered.

As Judge Judith Ference Olson noted in the Superior Court opinion, Onyshko sued in 2014. A Washington County jury absolved the NCAA of blame in the case following a four-week trial in May 2019. During that trial, Onyshko, who is confined to a wheelchair, testified using a computerized device activated by eye movement. He asked for more than $ 9 million in damages.

On appeal to the state court, Onyshko claimed that County Judge Michael J. Lucas, who was presiding over the trial, wrongly barred the admission of certain testimony from an Onyshko medical expert while allowing a NCAA medical expert to testify. Onyshko’s expert was scheduled to testify about CTE, a debilitating disease associated with brain trauma. Further, Onyshko argued that testimony regarding the actions of the University of California was improperly prohibited.

Olsen cited Lucas’ findings in dismissing Onyshko’s plea for a new trial.

Lucas concluded that the testimony of Onyshko’s expert CTE was properly omitted from the trial because this expert’s diagnostic method is not generally accepted in the medical community. Onyshko and his wife Jessica were, however, allowed to provide extensive testimony about the effects of repeated head injuries in football, Lucas said.

“The Onyshkos Had a Full and Fair Opportunity to Present Their Evidence Regarding ‘State of the Art’ NCAA

alleged negligence, Mr. Onyshko’s mechanism of injury and expert opinions regarding the cause of Mr. Onyshko’s ALS, ”Lucas wrote.

About Hector Hedgepeth

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