In more sad news concerning Jovan Belcher’s 2012 homicide-suicide, Sports Illustrated now tells us that a wrongful-death lawsuit has now been filed against his team by his mother Cheryl Shepherd.
Belcher’s body has been recently exhumed so that his brain condition upon death could be further examined. Enough evidence has been found for Shepherd to believe that the Kansas City Chiefs had a part in her son’s death.
Belcher’s brain was studied for a neurological condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease related to a number of other NFL player’s deaths in recent years.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been under more fire in particular for similar charges; a lawsuit involving 22 Kansas City Chief players in 2005 was filed charging the Chiefs with increasing player’s risk of brain damage by giving them, “ammonia inhalants, caffeine cocktails and/or (anti-inflammatory drug) Toradol to abbreviate the need for concussed employees to miss working time due to a brain injury” and using outdated preventative and care methods for concussions. Their unforgiving astroturf home stadium surface has also been called into account for player’s head injuries in the lawsuit.
The list of claims in Cheryl Shepherd’s suit includes:
– Failure to warn, educate and counsel Jovan Belcher of short and long term risks of concussions
– Failure to monitor/treat Belcher for neurological dysfunction
– Failure to remove Belcher from practicing/playing after any head trauma
Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend nine times after an argument on December 1, 2012 before shooting himself in the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility parking lot. His mother, Cheryl Shepherd, believes that Belcher’s concussions sustained as a Chief along with the care received after play a part in this tragedy. Symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy(CTE) include severe changes in mood, memory loss, and high bursts of aggression.
Shepherd is seeking $15,000 in damages.
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