LOS ANGELES >> Three former California, Los Angeles soccer players sue the school and claim that they have suffered concussions and other injuries that are aggravated because they were forced to play instead of receiving proper treatment.
Offensive linemen John Lopez and Poasi Moala filed negligence Wednesday, seeking more than $ 15 million each for damages, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Zach Bateman, another former offensive lineman, has also sued, seeking the same damages, Times says.
The Los Angeles Superior Court suits claim that former coach Jim Mora and coaches were ashamed or forced athletes to continue playing without proper treatment after they had some traumatic head or foot injuries.
"What they all have in common is the pattern of brutality and deliberately disregarding the player's health and safety of coach Mora and his employees at UCLA," said lawyer Pamela Tahim Thakur, representing all three players. [1
Lopez and Moala claim that they have symptoms associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy due to concussion.
Lopez's costume claims he was pushed back into play after having been concussed in 2013 and 2014 during training camp and that he was ridiculed after his first injury. His costume claims that Mora cultivated a culture of "no excuses" that included "unnecessarily brutal" main contact during exercises and an expectation that the athletes would play through pain.
Lopez suffered a third concussion in 2015 and was forced to retire. Lopez said that injury left him with brief memory loss, depression and anxiety that he attempted suicide in 2016 and that his injuries have kept him from ending school.
Moala claims he had several concussions and also severe hip injuries that required two operations before the end of his college career in 2017. His costume claims that the injuries could have been avoided if the coaches had taken their complaints seriously.
Bateman claims he was forced to play before his serious foot injuries had healed.  "We strongly refuse and will defend ourselves against the allegations in the trial," said a statement from the UCLA's athletic department. "We handle any damage with the highest standards of care and take potential head injuries very seriously."
The school believes that the concussion protocol "is among the strongest in the country," and that decisions that allow players who have a bit of concussion to return to play are made solely by the medical staff without the input of buses, said opinion.
Mora did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comments, Times said.