ORANGEBURG, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — South Carolina State University claims it is not to blame for a football player’s deadly decision to kill six people, including two children, in Rock Hill in 2021. Phillip Adams’ father claimed the university failed to do enough to prevent head trauma when Adams was attending there.
In a five-page answer to the wrongful death suit filed by Adams’ father, South Carolina State claims there are multiple reasons it should be thrown out.
The university asserted Adams, the former NFL player responsible for a 2021 mass shooting in Rock Hill, “voluntarily assumed the risk of participation in the football program” and “signed a waiver or release” prior to playing on the team. The university also claims the lawsuit exceeds the statute of limitations.
Adams, a Rock Hill native, played for the SCSU Bulldogs from 2006 to 2009.
Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University researcher, is one of the world’s top experts on the lasting impact of brain trauma. She spoke months after the shooting spree after studying Adams’ brain.
“We’ve seen this behavior, we’ve even seen homicidal behavior in individuals diagnosed with CTE,” McKee said. “It’s difficult to say that it alone resulted in these behaviors because usually it’s a complicated issue with many other factors.”
Adams was diagnosed with Stage 2 CTE. He shot and killed Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife Barbara and their two grandkids, along with two repairmen, James Lewis and Robert Shook, before taking his own life in a standoff with police.
Adams’ father sued the college where his son played claiming it didn’t take the necessary precautions to protect his son from head injuries.
Alonzo Adams says the money would primarily benefit Phillip’s son. The university is asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed with fees and costs covered. According to the Orangeburg County case details, the lawsuit is scheduled for dispute resolution in October of this year.