Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo
Call Us Today For A FREE Consultation 610-295-5321
Click For A Free Consultation 610-295-5321
Areas of Practice

Youth football league settles case with family of deceased player

In 2012, 25-year-old Joseph Chernach committed suicide. He had been a football player in high school and also for Pop Warner, a youth football league. Chernach's  family brought a lawsuit against Pop Warner after Chernach was found posthumously to have had a brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which has been linked to football or other sports where participants regularly experience blows to the head.

This case is notable because Pop Warner recently settled for an unknown amount (the family had sued Pop Warner and its insurer for $5 million). According to an article in The New York Times, the settlement may set the precedent for other similar lawsuits in football and other sports to go forward.

Some are surprised that Pop Warner decided to settle the Wisconsin case. Chernach had played other sports, and it may have been difficult for lawyers to prove that his injury was definitively linked to football. Still, the case may provide hope for former athletes and their families who may have seen their lives destroyed by the degenerative brain disease. 

Symptoms of CTE can include memory loss, confusion, aggression, depression and other behaviors that can make it difficult for a person to function, or maintain normal relationships or employment. Often the signs of CTE don't start until years after the last "hit" to the head. 

If you think you or someone you love may be suffering from sports-related CTE, make an appointment to speak with a personal injury lawyer. While some schools and leagues may have provisions in place to protect themselves from such lawsuits, the outcome of the Chernach case shows that settlement is, in fact, possible. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Take The First Step And Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Awards and Memberships

  • who's who legal
  • Global Who's Who Best Lawyers in Pennsylvania
  • Million dollar advocates forum
  • bar register of preeminent lawyers
  • the best lawyers in america
  • the national top 100 trial lawyers
  • national board of trial advocacy est 1977
  • A Proud member of the chamber greater lehigh valley chamber of commerce
  • Super lawyers pennsylvania Super lawyers and Rising stars
  • Best lawyers best law firms us news 2016
  • AV preeminent martindale-hubbell lawyer ratings highest rating

Our Locations

With three Lehigh Valley office locations in Bethlehem, Whitehall and Stroudsburg, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. map-image map-image map-image

Bethlehem Office
2851 Baglyos Circle, Suite 200
Bethlehem, PA 18020

Toll Free: 888-854-6895
Phone: 610-295-5321
Fax: 610-332-2722
Bethlehem Law Office Map

Whitehall Office
352 5th Street, Suite C
Whitehall, PA 18052

Toll Free: 888-854-6895
Phone: 610-295-5321
Whitehall Law Office Map

Stroudsburg Office
706 Monroe St.
Stroudsburg, PA 18360

Stroudsburg Law Office Map

Call Us Today For A
Free Consultation