School District, Coaches Rebuffed in Motion to Dismiss Concussion Claim

(Editor’s Note: What follows is a brief synopsis of a case summary that will appear in the upcoming October issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter)

A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss filed by a school district and some of its coaches, who were sued for their handling of a student athlete’s concussion.

The plaintiff, a high school student, was participating in football practice at the high school when he was hit by a teammate running full speed toward him. After the hit, he reported feelings of numbness and/or disorientation to the coaching staff, and his bavior became erratic. Immediately after the incident, the coaches told him to continue practicing, according to the complaint. They also allegedly failed to perform a medical evaluation, concussion test, or send him to the athletic trainer.

Later on, during the same football practice, he was hit again, causing him to be confused, dazed, and unable to continue practice. He was taken to the school’s trainer thereafter, but could not provide complete information to the trainer regarding the two hits he sustained, according to the complaint.

The parents of the plaintiff, who continues to suffer from a host of ailments, sued, claiming the defendants did not have a proper policy and/or procedure in place to instruct student athletes on the causes, hazards, symptoms, and dangers of traumatic brain injuries and despite the plaintiff’s physical manifestations and his complaints after his first hit, at no time did the defendants ensure that the plaintiff was medically cleared to return to practice.

More details can be found in the October issue of CLR

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