COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s Supreme Court is soon to decide whether Yvette Schmitz, wife of former University of Notre Dame football player Steve Schmitz, can legally sue the university and the NCAA over allegations that her husband was clinically disabled to concussions received during his college career in the 1970s.
Schmitz, who now suffers from dementia and early onset Alzheimer’s disease, has made recent attempts with his wife to bring legal charges against the university; one such attempt took place in Cuyahoga County in October 2014, where the lawsuit alleged that the institution showed “reckless disregard” for the safety of collegiate athletes.
The lawsuit claimed that despite the fact that the link between repeated blows to the head and chronic brain conditions is a well-accepted fact in the medical community, the NCAA has only very recently established preventative measures against concussions to ensure proper medical evaluation.
Steve Schmitz died in February 2015. A judge had ruled that too much time has passed since his death for his widow to sue. This decision was overturned by a state appeals court. Notre Dame and the NCAA argue that the statute of limitations for him to have justifiably sued the institutions dated back to the dates of his original injuries in the 1970s.
Although the legal battle is still being fervently pursued by Yvette Schmitz, a verdict from the Ohio Supreme Court is not expected for at least a few more weeks