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First ALS-Related Lawsuit Against NCAA To Be Heard In Washington County

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.

Matthew Onyshko
Matthew Onyshko, seen here in an old ice bucket challenge video, claims the NCAA didn't do enough to protect athletes from concussions and their long-term effects.

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 suit was filed by Jason Luckasevic, the lawyer who originated the NFL Concussion Litigation.

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.


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