Ex-Portland State player files suit, says concussion was untreated
Former Portland State linebacker Zach Walen has filed a $5 million suit against Portland State, the NCAA and Oregon Health Sciences University claiming he was not treated properly for a concussion.
The lawsuit alleges that Walen suffered a blow to the head in a game on Sept. 1, 2012, but that Portland State failed to recognize the injury. Walen's family took him to the hospital when they noticed that something was amiss.
The suit claims that Portland State then cleared Walen to play even though he had not passed the required tests, and he appeared in eight more games for the Vikings before ongoing symptoms eventually forced him leave the team and eventually withdraw from school.
The lawsuit, brought on behalf of the Walen by the Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
''Walen is a bright young man and based on his impressive high school scholastic career, it is likely he would have successfully completed his degree at PSU, if not for this brain injury caused by flagrant negligence,'' attorney Steve W. Berman said.
A spokesman for Portland State told the Associated Press in an email that the university had not been served but officials were aware of the lawsuit would review the allegations.
Walen is the son of Mark Walen, a defensive tackle who played at UCLA and with the Dallas Cowboys from 1986-89.
The younger Walen played at Lake Oswego High School.