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Football Players’ Head Injuries and Liability

April 2, 2016

Over the past few years the National Football League (NFL) has been in the news regarding lawsuits based on players’ head injuries.
The NFL is not alone, recently, other leagues have also begun seeing an increase of lawsuits, mostly based on the league’s failure to warn its players of the potential risks of participation in the league. According to a recent article, “Pop Warner Football Settles Wisconsin Head Injury Lawsuit”, one youth football league recently settled a case with similar circumstances. The Wisconsin lawsuit was brought by the mother of a man who had committed suicide after sustaining injuries playing football. The mother alleged that her son’s suicide was the result of numerous head injuries he suffered as a child playing in a youth football league.
The mother alleged that her son, who was 25-years-old when he committed suicide, suffered brain damage after participating in the youth league for four years. He began participating in sports when he was 11. After the son’s death, an autopsy showed that he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CET). The lawsuit alleges that the disease caused severe emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and physical problems, and that it was a substantial factor in contributing to his suicide. The son had experienced numerous concussions while playing football, some of which occurred while he played for the youth league.
The suit alleged that the football league was aware that the risks to young children were greater than to older players, but failed to warn players of these risks. The lawsuit points out that the sport is more dangerous for children who play with football helmets because the helmet weight is very heavy for children’s necks and bodies. It states that the organization failed to warn children and parents of the risk of permanent brain damage. The complaint sought $5 million in damages, and a settlement was reached for an undisclosed amount.
In 2012, the youth football league changed its rules regarding head-on tackles. It no longer permits certain tackles that present a high risk of head injury. The rules also limit the amount of time that a team can practice using physical contact. The league additionally requires athletes who are suspected of having head injuries or concussions to be removed from practice, play, or competition. Under the new rules, the athlete may not return until he has been evaluated by a medical professional trained in evaluating concussions and receives written clearance.
Another suit against the same league was filed after a teenager was paralyzed while making a tackle during a football game. That lawsuit alleged that the league encouraged dangerous, headfirst tackles, and that the league knew that these were likely to lead to feasible head injuries. This is just another type of lawsuit filed under the same general theory of negligence.
Terry Beasley
In recent years as the understand of head injuries and the long term effects of those injuries have been brought to light, particularly in the NFL law suits, there have been local articles on former Auburn University receiver, Terry Beasley. If you have not read an article about Mr. Beasley’s current health issues I encourage you to Google search “Terry Beasley.”  It doesn’t take long to find an article or read “A COSTLY LEGACY: Auburn’s greatest receiver Terry Beasley paid a price for hall of fame career.”
Links
In the paragraphs of this blog post are phrases in red type. These are phrases linked to articles of the subjects. Click on them to read the full article. Normally, I would not point out this fact, but I find the articles very informative on this relative new understanding of the long-term effects of head injuries.
The Potential Liability of Sports Leagues
Sports Leagues, like the NFL or youth football leagues may be held liable to players who suffered injuries while in their leagues. Lawsuits are based on a link between participation in sports and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CET) a disease resulting from repeated injuries to the head. There may be other avenues available, depending on the circumstances. The lawsuits generally claim that the league was aware of the risks to players and did not fully disclose them. According to the allegations in the lawsuits, because the leagues did not fully disclose the risks to players, the leagues can be held liable for their failure to do so. In addition to the NFL, the NCAA has also faced concussion lawsuits over head injuries in college sports, as has the National Hockey League. High school athletic associations have faced lawsuits, as well.
Have You or a Loved-One Suffered Head Injuries While Playing Sports?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured while playing sports, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries, even if the league was a youth league. You should speak with a dedicated Alabama personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim. At Ken Guin Attorney at Law, PC we can help you file your claim in order to get you the compensation you deserve. Serious injuries deserve dedicated representation. To speak with a personal injury attorney, call us at 205-512-0302.

Toyota Recalls Almost Three Million SUVs
March 1, 2016
     Canadian safety officials recently investigated a crash that killed two people, and that investigation resulted in a worldwide recall of almost three million Toyota SUVs. The Canadian investigation occurred subsequent a crash that occurred between a Toyota RAV4 and a Chevy Silverado.
Two people were killed in the backseat of the RAV4 in the collision.
The seat belts in the back seat were cut, prompting the investigation. It was found that seat belts can come into contact with a metal seat cushion frame in a severe crash. Toyota also opened an investigation and confirmed the problem.
Toyota was allegedly unaware of the problem until notified by Canadian officials.
Included in the recall are 1.25 million RAV4s in the U.S. and Canada from the 2006 to 2012 model years. RAV4 electric vehicles from years 2012 to 2014 are also included in the recall.
Companies who manufacture dangerous products can be held liable for injuries that occur as a result of those products.
If you have been injured by a dangerous consumer product, call Ken Guin a personal injury attorney at 205-282-4500. Ken will help you obtain compensation for your injuries, and will provide you with a free consultation on your case.

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