Complaint alleges 17-year-old player was a victim of “childhood sexual abuse”and forced to play in games after suffering concussions leading to serious mental health issues
CHICAGO, Ill. – Renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and Chicago based personal injury and medical malpractice firm Levin & Perconti filed their third lawsuit this week in the Circuit Court of Cook County on behalf of a former football against Northwestern University.
The lawsuit alleges John Doe 1 was first sexually abused as a minor during a hazing incident when he was a 17-year-old freshman. The complaint alleges he was also forced to play after suffering concussions and injuries. The sexually abusive hazing along with an abusive culture that belittled injured players caused John Doe to suffer serious mental and emotional health problems while a student at Northwestern and they continue today.
Earlier this week, former players Llyod Yates and Simba Short also filed lawsuits. All three complaints accuse Northwestern of three counts of negligence, willful and wanton disregard for player safety and well-being and violation of Illinois’ Gender Violence Act.
Attorneys released the following statements:
“This is just the beginning. We will file more lawsuits against Northwestern next week and in the weeks following. This is much bigger than just a few players. Hundreds of players were victimized over the years,” said attorney Ben Crump. “Despite being scared of retribution and embarrassed by the nature of the sexual abuse they suffered, more players continue to contact us every day. This is truly a “MeToo” moment for college athletes.”
“This was childhood sexual abuse and it led to serious mental health issues for the player during his time at Northwestern which coaches chose to ignore for the most part,” said Margaret Battersby Black, managing partner at Levin & Perconti. “As a 17-year-old freshman, he was targeted for numerous acts of sexually abusive hazing.”
“Players were broken in this abusive football culture. Not only were they subjected to sexual, emotional and physically abusive hazing, the players were also belittled and bullied when they were injured, and forced to play through their injuries and when they had concussions, “ said Steve Levin, founding partner of Levin & Perconti. “Northwestern University did nothing to protect them or make sure the school’s own anti-hazing policy was enforced.”
ABOUT BEN CRUMP LAW
Through his work, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more information, visit bencrump.com.
ABOUT LEVIN & PERCONTI
Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm committed to protecting and vindicating the rights of people who have been injured due to systemic flaws and corporations choosing profits over people. The lawyers at Levin & Perconti are committed to protecting and vindicating the rights of people who are injured. The firm concentrates on all types of personal injury, physical and sexual abuse, medical malpractice, nursing home, and wrongful death litigation. Please visit www.levinperconti.com for more information.