Yesterday I took the deposition of a high school varsity head football coach who allegedly allowed his senior team captain (our client who’s post surgical picture is to the right) to play in a football game with an improperly inflated helmet. Riddell Revolution helmets have internal inflatable Z-pads that offer energy attenuation for enhanced side protection. As you probably have already guessed, this young man sustained a tragic brain injury requiring two surgeries and is experiencing various long-term medical challenges.
We believe this case is a straightforward one. Simply put, our client’s injuries could and should have easily been avoided had the coach (adult with authority in the locker room) made sure that our client didn’t play in the game unless his Z-pad or helmet was repaired or replaced.
To prepare for the deposition, our consulting experts advised me that each year, there are about 50,000 high school football player concussion related injuries. Furthermore, independent research has shown that that more than 70% of the hits that result in concussions were to the side, face or jaw area– the exact location the Z-pad is designed to protect.
Here’s an interesting video from Riddell that explains the risk of injury (and side impact injuries and concussions)…
If you have a child who plays football, make sure he (or she) is provided with properly fitted and working equipment. Also talk with your coaching staff to make sure they have written guidelines in place to help protect the safety of your player. Ask for a copy (most don’t have written guidelines but we think they should– maybe by asking you’ll get them to think about doing this). The last thing you ever want to have happen to your child is to suffer the type of brain injury that our client experienced.
The good news is that we are set for jury trial in July. Although we can’t turn back the clock, we will be able to obtain compensation our wonderful young client relative to his medical bills and past and future suffering. We’ll keep you updated on how this case turns out!
Case Update: Case was confidentially settled just prior to trial. This case helped raise a substantial amount of awareness with sports (head injury) trauma cases.
02-07-13 Spreecast: I invite you to watch this very interesting Spreecast produced by television host, Erin Sharoni, and leading brain injury expert, Dr. Daniel Amen. The two share developments in brain injury research and some of the amazing results that Dr. Amen has been able to obtain for his patients. I invite you to take a look…