A wrongful death suit seeking unspecified damages was filed Tuesday against the Kansas City Chiefs by the mother of Jovan Belcher.
The former Chiefs linebacker killed his girlfriend and himself in December 2012.
The suit alleges that Belcher, a former University of Maine football star, showed signs of cognitive and neuro-psychiatric impairment and that he “unknowingly sacrificed his brain” during his four years with the team, The Kansas City Star reported.
Two weeks ago, Belcher’s family requested that his body exhumed in order to have his brain studied for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The results are pending. CTE is mentioned throughout the suit.
Another suit is anticipated to be filed by the guardian of Belcher’s 1-year-old daughter, Zoey.
Belcher, 25, shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, on Dec. 1, 2012, and then drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility before he shot himself in the head.
The Star reported that there was no history of concussions or head injuries, but the suit contends that the Chiefs missed signs of head trauma and the team “directly caused or directly contributed” to his neurological problems.
The suit also alleges that the team “engaged in mental abuse to motivate” Belcher to play through injuries and that it “caused or contributed to cause (him) to become insane.”
Belcher, the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, signed with Kansas City in 2009 as an undrafted free agent.