Lawyer Involved in Concussion Litigation Joins Sheppard Mullin

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has announced the addition of eight partners to the firm’s Insurance and Business Trial practices, including one — R. Randal Crispen – who is involved in concussion litigation. Crispen, who will join Sheppard Mullin’s San Diego office, previously practiced at McKenna, Long & Aldridge.

Crispen specializes in litigating complex business disputes, with an emphasis on representing insurance companies in major coverage and bad faith lawsuits.Randal Crispen

He currently represents a major insurer in coverage litigation arising out of the National Football League and NCAA players’ concussion injury litigation.

Crispen also has obtained defense verdicts as lead trial counsel in state and federal courts throughout Southern California. He received a J.D. from University of California, Berkeley – Boalt Hall in 1985 and a B.A., highest honors, from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981.

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Study: Brand/Type of Helmet and Mouthguard May Not Significantly Reduce Risk of Sport-Related Concussions

In a recent presentation at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, La Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, a sports medicine physician and faculty member at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, presented at talk on: “Incidence of Sport-Related Concussion in High School Football Players: Effect of Helmets, Mouthguards, Previous Concussions, Years Playing Experience.”

Dr. Brooks co-led a prospective cohort study of 2,288 high school football players over two seasons (2012 and 2013) to investigate whether a particular brand of helmet or type of mouthguard affects an athlete’s risk of suffering from sport-related concussion.

The study compared the helmet brands of Riddell, Schutt and Xenith with purchase years of 2003 through 2013 and generic versus specialized or custom mouthguard types against the incidence and severity (days lost) for each sport-related concussion sustained. Chi-square and t-tests were used to analyze incidence and Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests were used to determine severity. In total, 204 players sustained 208 sport-related concussions, causing them to miss a median of 14 days.

While helmet brand or age did not significantly affect the incidence or severity of sport-related concussion, prior concussion and the use of specialized or custom mouthguards were associated with an increased incidence of the injury. This is in contrast to manufacturers’ claims that a specific brand of helmet or type of mouthguard can significantly reduce the risk of concussion. Final multivariate regression analysis is in progress.

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Insurance Lawyer talks Concussions and Disability Policies

Frank N. Darras of DarrasLaw, who proclaims himself “America’s Top Insurance Lawyer,” recently issued a press release in which he talked about the rise in concussions and why professional athletes need to confirm “the value of (their) disability policy.”

“Concussions have become more and more worrisome in the world of professional sports as the rate of injury seems to increase every year. They also have a long-lasting effect even after an athlete has retired from sports,” according to Darras.

“Major League Baseball has implemented protocols in recent years regarding concussions,” he continued. “They are designed to keep players from returning to the game too early and causing more serious injuries. The risk of a disabling injury can hardly be ignored after such a close call. As a result, each and every one of these players should take a good, hard look at their disability insurance policies and make sure they’re covered for a concussion or any other injury they may face while playing the game.”

Darras added that such “policies are extremely important in sports with the risk of injuries being so high.”

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