Stanford runner Jessica Tonn backs out of concussion lawsuit vs. NCAA


The first active Division I-A athlete to sue the NCAA over concussions wants out of the lawsuit.

“I am no longer a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois vs. NCAA,” Stanford runner Jessica Tonn wrote in an email. “While I am supportive of advocacy for concussion awareness, I have no desire to be involved in legal matters of this or any other sort.”

Filed Wednesday, the 65-page complaint alleges that the NCAA inadequately educated athletes and coaches about concussions and didn’t implement return-to-play guidelines. The complaint said Tonn “suffered a head injury as a member of the track team” at Stanford and “needs medical monitoring.”


“Jessica doesn’t feel she can commit the time necessary to see this through,” said Robert Carey, an attorney with Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro who represents Tonn.

Carey said Tonn signed a representation agreement and read the complaint multiple times before it was filed.

As of Friday morning, the case’s docket hadn’t been updated to reflect Tonn’s desire not to participate. Carey said a motion to dismiss would be filed.

Tonn, who finished 16th at the NCAA cross country championships in 2013, didn’t respond to a request for further comment.


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Twitter: @nathanfenno