COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — The father of a former NFL player who killed six people before killing himself two years ago is suing the alma mater where his son played football.
An autopsy eventually diagnosed Phillip Adams with an unusually severe form of the degenerative brain disease commonly known as CTE, which was found to cause severe mood swings and memory loss.
Now, Alonzo Adams says South Carolina State University failed to follow safety protocols or properly train employees to deal with the traumatic brain injury his son suffered during a college career that spanned from 2006 to 2009.
This alleged “negligence, recklessness, recklessness, stubbornness and recklessness” contributed to Adams’ death after the April 8, 2021 mass shooting in Rock Hill, South Carolina, according to the wrongful death lawsuit filed March 31. Police found Adams with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Sam Watson, a spokesperson for South Carolina State University, said the institution does not comment on ongoing or ongoing litigation.
The NFL journeyman also suffered a “brain injury” during his six years as a professional cornerback, according to the complaint. During a three-game stretch with the Raiders in 2012, Adams suffered two concussions.
The local coroner said the family told investigators that Adams complained of excruciating pain from the injuries, had memory problems and had trouble sleeping. Her sister told USA Today after the killings that the family noticed signs of rapidly deteriorating mental health, such as a growing temper and poor personal hygiene.
Because he did not retire in 2014, he would not have been eligible for testing included in a broad settlement between the league and former players over long-term concussion-related injuries.
An agent previously told The Associated Press that the Adams did not participate in other physical and mental health programs available to former players.