Link Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Domestic Violence?

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An autopsy performed one year after the death of Jovan Belcher might prove a link between traumatic brain injury and domestic violence.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

The autopsy done of the 25-year-old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher revealed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) - a degenerative brain disease that has been found in athletes and others that have histories of repetitive brian injuries. What makes this increasingly interesting is that Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins in the couple’s home before killing himself on December 1, 2012.

“Repetitive Head Trauma”

Cheryl Shepherd, Belcher’s mother, filed a lawsuit alleging her son had been subjected to “repetitive head trauma.” The lawsuit went on to claim that the Chiefs had failed to provide adequate medical care for Belcher. The lawsuit, along with other such lawsuits by more than 30 plaintiffs, has been moved to federal court. They have been set aside temporarily as a settlement between the league and other lawsuits for $765 million goes through the approval process.

The recently released autopsy results show signs of CTE. CTE was also found in two former NFL players who committed suicide - Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.

Autopsy Results Released in Light of Recent NFL Ties to Domestic Violence

Dirk Vandever, attorney for one of the firms representing plaintiffs in the lawsuits against the Chiefs, said the results have been released as a result of the recent issues involving domestic violence and the NFL that have come to light. “In the past month five different NFL players implicated in horrendous episodes in domestic violence,” he said. Ken Mclain, another lawyer involved in the lawsuits, said the autopsy results support what plaintiffs in the lawsuits have been saying: repeated trauma to the head can cause athletes to become angry, and thus more apt to lose control of their impulses. He went on to say, “The Chiefs knew he [Belcher] and his significant other [Perkins] were having major domestic violence issues and he had a major concussion two weeks before this happened.”

If you’ve suffered from a traumatic brain injury, you need the expert advice of lawyers such as those at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.

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