Alonzo Adams, father of former NFL defensive back Phillip Adams, has filed a lawsuit against the college where his son played football.
Adams fatally shot six people a little over two years ago, before killing himself. An autopsy later revealed that Adams suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that some research suggests is linked to head injuries and blows.
CTE has also been shown to cause violent mood swings and, in some cases, memory loss. Adams’ father argues that his son’s alma mater, South Carolina State University, failed to comply with protocols. He also believes the university did not have enough highly trained staff members available to treat the sustained head trauma Adams suffered throughout his college football career.
That alleged «negligence, carelessness, recklessness, willfulness, and wantonness» contributed to Adams’ death following the April 8, 2021 mass shooting in Rock Hill, South Carolina, according to the wrongful death lawsuit filed March 31. Police found Adams with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
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University spokesman Sam Watson said the school does not comment on current or pending litigation.
The NFL official also suffered «head trauma» during his six years as a professional cornerback, according to the complaint. During a three-game stretch with the Raiders in 2012, Adams suffered two concussions.
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The local coroner said the family told investigators that Adams was complaining of excruciating pain related to the injury, had problems with his memory and was struggling to sleep.
His sister told USA Today after the murders that the family had noticed worrying signs of rapidly deteriorating mental health, such as an escalating temper and lack of personal hygiene.
Because he did not retire in 2014, he would not have been eligible for tests included in a sweeping settlement between the league and former players for long-term concussion-related injuries.
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An agent previously told The Associated Press that Adams did not participate in other physical and mental health programs available to former players.
Associated Press contributed to this report.