PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The country’s first ALS-related lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association will be heard in Washington County.
Matthew Onyshko, a former football player at the California University of Pennsylvania, is suing the NCAA. He alleges the association didn’t do enough to protect athletes from concussions and their long-term effects.
Onyshko, 38, says he developed ALS after suffering brain and spinal cord injuries while playing football at Cal U from 1999 through 2003.
According to a press release from Onyshko’s legal team, the lawsuit alleges the NCAA “breached its duty of care by failing to provide proper monitoring, supervision, education and training,” regarding the long-term risks associated with repeated concussions.
The NCAA is the main regulatory body for college sports. It was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 as a way to promote safe participation in college athletics.
The case will go to trial in Washington County. Onyshko’s legal team says it will include a claim for punitive damages against the NCAA.
A jury will ultimately be asked to decide whether the NCAA failed in its care of duty, according to Onyshko’s lawyers.