Concussions and the lasting medical issues they cause are all the talk in the NFL right now but a college football settlement with Philly connections could be an even bigger story than injuries to pros like DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook.
LaSalle University must pay $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit over the severe brain injury a former football player suffered during a 2005 game.
The brain injury occurred when Preston Plevretes, then a 19-year-old sophomore, returned to play for the Explorers a month after he had suffered a concussion in practice, his lawyers said.
The Marlboro, N.J. native took a vicious hit while covering a punt in a November game against Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. The hit ended the game early with the Explorers losing 56-14, according to ESPN.com.
The second impact injury was so severe that Plevretes needed to undergo emergency surgery to relieve pressure in his brain, ESPN.com reported.
Plevretes lawyers faulted the Philadelphia university for failing to properly handle his complaints of headaches in the weeks and days leading up to that game.
The 23-year-old Plevretes now has limited speech, can walk only short distances and has short-term memory loss.
There is no more worry that any current LaSalle students would suffer a football injury -- the school discontinued the sport in 2007.
The settlement would cover his need for lifetime, round-the-clock care, lawyer Shanin Specter said.
La Salle settled the suit without admitting any wrongdoing. A trial was scheduled to begin Monday in Philly court, said lawyers.
The University released the following statement about the case:
"La Salle University confirms that the lawsuit brought by Preston Plevretes and his family has been amicably resolved without the need for a trial, sparing both sides further burdens and expense and allowing all concerned to put the litigation behind them.
Although we were prepared to defend our position, the University does not believe that it would serve any purpose to engage in further discussion about the matter.
From the time of Preston’s injury, the University community, led by those who know Preston and his family, have been hoping and praying for his recovery. That hasn’t changed."