An Irwin Man Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease Is Suing the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Claiming That Playing College Football More Than 30 Years Ago Contributed to His Illness [Derived Headline]

By Cholodofsky, Rich | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 22, 2018 | Go to article overview

An Irwin Man Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease Is Suing the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Claiming That Playing College Football More Than 30 Years Ago Contributed to His Illness [Derived Headline]


Cholodofsky, Rich, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


An Irwin man diagnosed with Parkinson's disease is suing the National Collegiate Athletic Association, claiming that playing college football more than 30 years ago contributed to his illness.

Joel Jarosz was an offensive lineman for Slippery Rock University from 1976-78. He sustained repeated blows to the head during practices and in games, he claims in a lawsuit filed in Westmoreland County.

Jarosz claims the NCAA knew for years prior to his playing days that football-related concussions put individuals at risk for serious long-term cognitive health issues.

"The NCAA failed to educate Mr. Jarosz about the long-term, life-altering risks and consequences of head injuries that can result from participation in the game of football, despite its knowledge of those risks," stated the lawsuit, filed Friday.

In the years after his college football career, Jarosz claims he experienced numbness, twitching, muscle atrophy, fatigue, loss of mobility, slurred speech and other neurological symptoms. In 2012, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of the disease include tremors, slow movement, rigid muscles, loss of automatic movements such as blinking, speech changes and difficulty writing.

Jarosz is represented by Jason Luckasevic, the Pittsburgh lawyer who a decade ago filed the first lawsuits against the National Football League on behalf of former players who claimed repeated concussions sustained on the playing field resulted in irreversible brain damage such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

Luckasevic was part of the legal team that this year settled a similar federal lawsuit filed in Texas by the widow of a University of Texas linebacker who played between 1968-71 and died in 2015. …

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