A former Notre Dame football player is suing the university for allegedly concealing the results of an MRI, allowing the player to risk a spinal chord injury while he continued on the field, The Indianapolis Star reported.
The suit was filed by former linebacker Douglas Randolph and names head coach Brian Kelly among the defendants.
Randolph claims he suffered a career ending injury in September 2015 during a practice drill. He left the field after experiencing numbness in his extremities and was ordered to have an MRI scan.
The lawsuit alleges that the results of the imaging were never provided to Randolph and that his athletic trainer and doctor both told him it was safe for him to continue to play on, a diagnosis that was “false and completely inaccurate.”
Randolph continued to play, participating in all 13 games of the season, but he experienced worsening symptoms including “complete loss of muscle control in his upper extremities for a significant amount of time” and “several side effects including irritability, difficulty focusing, and difficulty sleeping, as well as extreme bouts of aggressive behavior,” according to the suit.
During the January 2016 Fiesta Bowl game against Ohio State, Randolph looked down and “suffered complete numbness in all four extremities” but was “told to get back in the game,” the suit claims.
After the season ended, Randolph received a second MRI. A different physician told him he potentially had permanent nerve damage in his neck as a result of continuing to play college football after his injury in September, according to the suit, which noted he was instructed to never play football again.
Randolph says he continues to have severe nerve damage, the side effects of which are evident in simple daily activities like reaching for a drink.
The suit doesn’t specify an amount Randolph seeks in damages.
Brian Kelly expressed surprise about the lawsuit, according to the Associated Press. “I know the kind of quality health care we provide. We’ve got outstanding doctors. That’s our mission here is to provide the very best health care to our student-athletes. And whatever’s in their best interest,” Kelly said.
Notre Dame did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.