Tag: concussions

Concussion Injury Lawyer

High School Football Player Receives Fatal Brain Injury During Game

Although football has been one of America’s most popular sports for decades, participation is slowly decreasing. Football can be extremely dangerous. Recently, a teenager in Georgia received a fatal brain injury during a football game, highlighting the dangers players face on the field.

The Tragic Outcome of an Overlooked Hit

The high school linebacker was rushed to the hospital during a Friday night game in late September. The teen was six feet tall but only 150 pounds. Players on the opposite team had players up to 265 pounds. After a hit in the third quarter, the referee stopped the game, so the teen could come off the field after a play.

Initially, the teen was brought off the field for a leg injury; however, he quickly began to experience other symptoms as his left leg and arm went numb. He eventually became unresponsive and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors undertook two surgeries to relieve the boy’s brain swelling, but after several days, he succumbed to his injuries.

What is particularly tragic about this account is the teen’s family believes it was a hit during the second quarter that caused the teen’s brain injury. The teen played through the rest of the second quarter and into the third quarter before being evaluated, and he was only evaluated because of another perceived injury.

Football Head Injuries are Causing Long-term Damage

While fatal brain injuries during football games are uncommon, players are taking hits to the head that are causing long-term damage. Football players can develop debilitating neurological conditions later in life due to their time spent on the field in younger years. Every time a brain cell dies, it releases a protein that causes damage and eventually death to other brain cells. There is no way to stop this process, so it’s incredibly important for football players to decrease the number of hits to the head.

Sports Organizations Have A Responsibility to Protect Players

Unfortunately, organizations like the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) didn’t warn players the hits they take on the field could cause permanent damage. Until recent years, the NCAA did not have adequate concussion management protocols in place to protect students from serious injuries. The NCAA had a responsibility to keep players safe, but blatantly chose not to.

Former NCAA players may be able to hold the NCAA accountable for its negligence. Raizner Law is helping former NCAA football players file lawsuits against the NCAA to obtain compensation for their injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and how we can help.

dangers of concussions

High School Football Participation Is Decreasing After Mounting Concussion Research

For decades, football has been the most popular sport in America. Thousands of children across the country grew up playing football, many with a dream that one day they would play college football or even make it to the National Football League (NFL). However, football’s popularity is quickly decreasing in children, and this is due in part to mounting research about the dangers of concussions sustained during play.

Ten Years of Decline

Studies showing the dangerous long-term effects of concussions sustained while playing football have existed since the 1970s; however, it hasn’t been until the last ten years that high school football participation has decreased. According to the National Federation of High School Associations’ athletic participation survey, there has been a 6.5% decrease in 11-player football participation from its peak in 2009-2010 to the 2017-2018 school year.

A Dangerous Sport

Football is a contact sport and players frequently take hits to their bodies and their heads. For years, young kids were told to “shake it off” and keep playing, but research shows these concussive and sub-concussive hits are extremely damaging, particularly to young adults whose brains are still developing. When an individual suffers a concussion, brain cells die and release Tau proteins, or T-proteins. Over time, T-proteins actually cause more brain cells to die.

When a person suffers continual impacts to the head, T-proteins build up so much that they can cause degenerative neurological diseases such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), among others. Since there is no way to stop T-proteins from harming additional brain cells, it is incredibly important to prevent them from building up in the first place.

NCAA Failures Put Students At Risk

Fewer high school football players means less future neurological conditions. Organizations like the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) didn’t warn student athletes that playing the game could have long-term consequences; and, now these former students are suffering from Dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS, among other debilitating neurological conditions. The NCAA had a duty to protect student athletes and they let students down.

Get Help With Your NCAA Lawsuit

If you played football for an NCAA regulated team, contact Raizner Law today. We can explain your legal options and help you hold the NCAA accountable.

NCAA Concussion Injury Attorney

English Soccer Considering Concussion Protocols Amongst Mounting Research

Many people are well aware of the concussive risks associated with playing football or boxing, but all contact sports put players at a risk of suffering concussive and sub-concussive hits. In light of mounting evidence, sports organizations are implementing concussion protocols that can help reduce the long-term effects of concussions, and it appears English soccer may be next.

During the UEFA Champions League final, a player from the opposing team elbowed Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius in the head. Despite the blow, there was no call for medical treatment on the field, and Mr. Karius continued to play for the rest of the game. In the days after the game, Liverpool sent Mr. Karius to Massachusetts General Hospital for testing and doctors diagnosed him with a concussion.

This is by no means a singular occurrence, and with the mounting body of research regarding the long-term effects of repeated concussions, the English Premier League is taking action. A proposal from the English Premier League physicians aims to reduce the number of untreated concussions for its players. The proposal suggests concussion protocols where a player suspected of sustaining a concussion would exit the game for 10 minutes for a medical examination by an independent physician. Soccer has strict rules for the number of substitutions that can take place during a game, but a substitution for a concussion evaluation would not count toward a team’s total number of substitutions.

The proposal will first have to be approved by the International Football Association Board, which serves “the world of football as the independent guardian of the Laws of the Game.” Even though the proposal could greatly improve the health of players, it faces some serious obstacles. Many sports organizations, like the National Football League (NFL) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, failed to implement concussion protocols for decades and only recently took steps to protect players from the consequences of head trauma. This is particularly devastating considering football players can experience dozens of hits to the head in just one game.

The NFL has taken action to compensate players for the neurological damage they sustained during play, but the NCAA has yet to act. Lawsuits against the NCAA are still in the early phases, but the first case that went to trial ended in a successful settlement.

NCAA Concussion Injury Attorney

If you played NCAA football, you may be able to file a claim and pursue compensation for brain trauma you experienced during play. Contact a NCAA concussion injury attorney at Raizner Slania LLP today to learn your legal options.

Tackle Ban

NFL Players Support Tackle Ban In Youth Football

Evidence connecting repeated concussive and sub-concussive hits to the head and long-term neurological damage has existed for decades. Despite this, contact sports like football flourished. But now professional football players from the National Football League (NFL) are supporting legislation that would ban tackling in youth football to protect young children from repeated impacts to the head.

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre is backing legislation in Illinois that bans tackle football for all children less than 12 years of age. Children who played football under this age would play flag football instead of tackle football. Mr. Favre knows better than nearly anyone how concussive impacts sustained during play can damage the brain. While playing professional football, Mr. Favre set a new record for most consecutive games played, totaling 297. Mr. Favre now suffers from the long-term effects of repeated head trauma.

The Illinois Bill Mr. Favre is supporting is called the Dave Deurson Act, and it is currently under consideration in the state’s legislature. Mr. Favre hopes other states will adopt similar legislation and that one day there will be a nationwide ban. A ban on tackle football for kids couldn’t come soon enough.

According to a study conducted by the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine, of 211 football players posthumously diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), those who started tackle football at age 11 or younger began experiencing symptoms of CTE in their mid-twenties.

Mr. Favre isn’t the only NFL player who believes tackling should be banned for children. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo also agrees tackle football is not appropriate for young children. When Mr. Romo holds football camps for kids, he doesn’t allow tackle football for the youngest participants.

Although change can’t come soon enough, it will be too late for thousands of players at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. The type of brain damage sustained while playing football can’t be reversed. For many football players, the only justice they will receive is through filing a lawsuit. Organizations like the NFL and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had a responsibility to players to warn them of the health risks associated with repeated head impacts, but instead kept these risks quiet and continued to earn millions in profits from these players.

NCAA Concussion Injury Lawyers

The NCAA settled the first NCAA concussion lawsuit that went to trial after just three days in court. The NCAA cannot deny the thousands of players that deserve justice for the injuries that they now suffer from as a result of their college football play. If you or someone you love played NCAA football, contact the NCAA concussion injury lawyers at Raizner Slania LLP today. We can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf.

NCAA Concussion Lawsuits

Raizner Slania Files Five NCAA Concussion Lawsuits On Behalf of College Football Players

Raizner Slania recently filed five lawsuits against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and several Division 1 universities and conferences on behalf of former student athletes suffering from the debilitating long-term effects of repeated concussions sustained during play. The cases involve student athletes from Weber State University, the University of Iowa, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the University of Tulsa, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The plaintiff from Weber State University played as a defensive end from 1996 to 1997. Some of the concussions sustained during games were so severe that the plaintiff often could not remember the games or injuries he had suffered. As a result, he now suffers from severe anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, neurological disorders, memory loss, mood swings, and other debilitating issues. In addition, his medical team has diagnosed him with major depressive disorder, major neurocognitive disorder, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE.
In the case from the former University of Iowa football player, the plaintiff played for the university from 1986 through 1988 as a wide receiver. The plaintiff suffered from a number of concussions during his time playing for the university, and in one instance, he was hit so hard he was knocked unconscious. However, he was quickly returned to the same game without receiving the appropriate medical treatment. He now suffers from serious cognitive issues, including impaired memory, attention, processing speed, and other debilitating issues. Additionally, he was recently diagnosed with neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, depressive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, and his medical team believes he most probably suffers from CTE.

The plaintiff from West Point played for the university as a running back from 1995 to 1998. The plaintiff recalls suffering a number of concussive and sub-concussive hits while playing football for West Point, including suffering from at least 17 concussions during games. The hits he sustained were so severe that he often saw stars and experienced blurry vision and would even become disoriented after. On multiple occasions, he was hit so hard that he had lost consciousness. Additionally, these hits caused him to experience headaches during practices and games that would last long after play. One concussion even caused the plaintiff to experience post-traumatic amnesia. The plaintiff now suffer from severe headaches, memory loss, anxiety, depression, seizures, and other issues. He was diagnosed with severe postconcussive syndrome with neurological deficit and profound left 6th nerve palsy. Ultimately, he was forced to leave school due to concussion injuries he sustained playing football.

The plaintiff who played for the University of Tulsa was a safety, linebacker and played on special teams from 2006 to 2009. He suffered many concussive hits during his time and some of the hits were so severe, that he often experienced headaches during practices and games that would last long after play. In 2008, the plaintiff was hit so hard during a game that he lost consciousness. Given the severity of the impact and his state of unconsciousness, he had to be removed from the game. He was later evaluated by a physician and told that he had, in addition to this significant concussive event, previously suffered many concussive and sub-concussive hits that went undiagnosed and untreated. As a result, the plaintiff was instructed to stop playing football. The plaintiff now suffers from headaches, memory loss, mood swings, and has severe cognitive deficits as a consequence of his concussions.

In the case of the former University of Louisiana at Lafayette student-athlete, the plaintiff played for the university as a tight-end from 1995-1998. The plaintiff recalls suffering from numerous concussions during practices and games. As a result of his time playing college football, the plaintiff suffers from headaches, memory loss, trouble sleeping and mood swings. He has also been diagnosed with brain legions, likely caused by his years playing football. His doctors have concluded that he likely suffers from CTE.

For decades, the NCAA has known about the long-term dangers of concussions and concussion-related injuries. Despite this, the NCAA failed to implement reasonable concussion safety protocols and actively concealed the dangers of concussions from student-athletes.

Repeated impacts to the head greatly increase an athlete’s risk of developing long-term brain injuries like anxiety, memory loss, dementia, depression, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and severe cognitive and neurological deficits, among others.

Unfortunately for student athletes, many of the long-term side effects of concussions do not begin to manifest for years after they have played their last game. Additionally, most concussion-related brain damage is permanent and degenerative, meaning student athletes can do nothing to reverse or stop its progression.

The NCAA currently governs over 400,000 student athletes around the country playing 23 different sports. The institution has a duty to protect student athletes from dangers both on and off the field. Unfortunately, the NCAA’s inaction and concealment of the dangers of concussions created an epidemic that has harmed many college athletes. Despite gaining financially from its football players, the NCAA did little to protect them from the long-term consequences of concussions.

Raizner Slania Can Help Former College Athletes Who Suffered Concussions

Many former college football players were told to “shake it off” after receiving concussions, but this attitude deprived players of the medical treatment necessary to mitigate, monitor, and manage the long-term side effects of concussions.

The experienced trial attorneys at Raizner Slania can help former college football players and other athletes suffering from the long-term effects of concussions and sub-concussive hits sustained during practices and games. We offer free consultations to help you understand your legal options and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

NCAA Concussion Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorneys

Raizner Slania Files Several Concussion Lawsuits Against NCAA On Behalf of the Estates of Deceased Former Athletes

Last week, the attorneys at Raizner Slania filed three class action lawsuits against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and several other athletic conferences on behalf of the estates of three former college football players for failing to implement proper safety protocols and for concealing the dangers of concussions to student athletes. The cases involve former student athletes from Gardner-Webb University, Ohio State University, and Pittsburg State University. Raizner Slania has filed dozens of additional lawsuits on behalf of former college athletes across the country.

The NCAA has known for decades that repeated impacts to the head sustained during football practice and play can cause severe long-term consequences. However, the NCAA actively concealed this information from its athletes, and as a result, former student athletes across the nation are suffering from neurological and cognitive damage.

Over time, repeated concussions and head trauma greatly increase an athlete’s risk of developing long-term brain injuries, including severe anxiety, stress, mood swings, and anger, memory problems, depression, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as ALS), among other conditions.

In one case, the plaintiff received a number of sub-concussive hits and concussions during his time playing college football. He was even forced to participate in “hamburger drills” where he and his teammates would be called out two at a time to hit each other as hard as they could. The repeated concussions gave him significant neurological and cognitive side effects; and, convinced his time playing college football was the cause of his suffering, the plaintiff decided to end his life. The Boston University School of Medicine, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center examined the brain samples, and he was diagnosed postmortem with Stage II/IV CTE.

In the other case, the plaintiff suffered from a number of concussions while playing college football and was never provided the treatment necessary to monitor, manage, and mitigate the long-term effects of his injuries. In 2013, he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gherig’s disease. ALS is a degenerative disease that causes victims to gradually lose voluntary control of their muscles. ALS caused the plaintiff to slowly lose the ability to walk, talk, move, and eventually breathe, causing his death. ALS is a known consequence of repetitive concussions in football players and other collegiate athletes.

In the third case, the plaintiff suffered from a number of concussions, two of which caused him to lose consciousness and two additional concussions that required hospitalization. As a result, the plaintiff began to suffer from severe anxiety, apathy, sluggishness, stress, mood swings and anger, memory problems, and depression. Despite his persistence to get better, the plaintiff’s condition worsened and he took his own life. Boston University School of Medicine, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center studied the brain samples, and posthumously diagnosed the plaintiff with Stage II-III CTE.

The NCAA, its conferences, and its universities had a responsibility to student athletes to safeguard their health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, the NCAA put profits before players and as a result, former college athletes are struggling with permanent and debilitating conditions.

NCAA Concussion Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorneys

If you or a loved one experienced brain trauma after suffering a head injury while playing for an NCAA regulated team, please contact the attorneys at Raizner Slania. Our consultations are free and confidential, and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we help you obtain compensation.