Ex-Notre Dame player’s widow can sue over concussions, court says

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Helmets of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish near the bench area. | Kent Horner/Getty Images

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court says the widow of a former University of Notre Dame football player can sue the school and the NCAA over allegations her husband was disabled by concussions during his college playing days in the 1970s.

Steve and Yvette Schmitz filed a lawsuit in 2014 alleging the institutions showed “reckless disregard” for player safety and failed to protect them from concussions.

Steve Schmitz died in February 2015. The lawsuit says the Cleveland Clinic diagnosed him with a brain disease related to numerous concussions.

The NCAA and Notre Dame argued too much time has passed to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

The Supreme Court said Wednesday it couldn’t say the couple missed the two-year statute of limitations without more facts, and returned the case to the trial court.

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