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Ex-UNC player's estate sues ACC, NCAA over concussions

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Representatives of a former North Carolina football player's estate are suing the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA, saying they ignored the dangers of concussions leading to his death.

Sandra LaMountain and Noah Hoffman brought the 39-page lawsuit on behalf of Ryan Hoffman's estate and filed it Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Greensboro.

In the suit, they allege negligence, breach of express contract and unjust enrichment, arguing that both groups failed to protect and promote the safety and well-being of their players and breached a contract with the players by failing to properly educate and warn them of the long-term risks of concussions.

Hoffman's representatives are requesting class-action status and a jury trial and seek damages that include past, present and future medical expenses, lost future earnings and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Spokeswomen for the ACC and NCAA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hoffman, a former standout offensive lineman who last played for North Carolina in 1997, rode his bike into oncoming traffic on a poorly lit road in Haines City, Florida, in November 2015. He was hit by a car, head-on, and died on the way to the hospital at the age of 41.

Researchers at Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation notified Hoffman's family in March 2016 that an analysis of his brain showed evidence of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy -- the degenerative brain disease believed to be caused by repeated hits to the head.

LaMountain and Noah Hoffman in 2016 were appointed co-personal representatives of Hoffman's estate by a judge in Florida, where they and Ryan Hoffman lived.

The lawsuit states the ACC and NCAA "knew of the harmful effects of (traumatic brain injury) on student-athletes for decades, they ignored these facts and failed to institute any meaningful methods of warning and/or protecting the student-athletes, including the football players.

"For Defendants, the continued expansion and operation of college football was simply too profitable to put at risk," the lawsuit continued.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.