Former KU linebacker files concussion lawsuit against NCAA

Eric Washington claims to suffer from 'severe depression, mood swings'

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas players and head coach Mark Mangino watch as medical personnel examine Kansas lineback Eric Washington during the second half of play September 30, 2006, in Lincoln. Washington was removed from the field by stretcher.

One-time University of Kansas linebacker Eric Washington has joined a group of former college football players in the latest wave of concussion lawsuits against the NCAA.

A complaint filed in federal court this week reveals Washington still suffers from “severe depression, mood swings and other debilitating issues,” due to head injuries he suffered while playing for the Jayhawks, and identifies the Big 12 and NCAA as defendants in the case.

Washington played one season at KU, in 2006, when Mark Mangino was head coach. He made 34 tackles, forced a fumble and was credited with defending three passes, despite only playing in five games.

Washington’s career ended prematurely when he suffered a neck injury on Sept. 30, 2006, during the Jayhawks’ game at Nebraska.

photo by: Nick Krug

FILE — Former KU linebacker Eric Washington

A representative from the law firm Edelson P.C., which filed the suit, said Washington’s story is similar to many players from that era and before, who experienced multiple head injuries and/or returned to the field for either practices or games too soon following a concussion.

In the complaint, Washington recalls suffering from “at least three” concussions while playing at KU. The lawsuit claims KU failed to provide him with appropriate medical treatment on those occasions. “For instance,” the suit states, “after suffering from several concussions, Washington recalls being sidelined for a brief amount of time before eventually being put back in the game.”

The claim says the NCAA and Big 12 “failed to adopt or implement adequate concussion management safety protocols or return to play guidelines during his time on Kansas’ football team.”

Edelson P.C., which filed 15 similar suits in May, June and July of this year, began filing in federal courts nationwide this week, on behalf of Washington and others who say they’ve experienced lasting effects due to concussions suffered at the collegiate level.

Other suits filed in the past days included some for former Florida State, Florida, Miami, Mississippi State and Cal players. So far, 24 suits have been filed. The AP reported this summer as many as 50 in total are expected.