Concussion Lawsuit Puts Focus on Tracking Concussed Athletes After They Leave the Playing Field and Engage in Other School Activities; Experts Weigh In

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the March issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter)

A high school football player in New York has sued Staten Island and its Education Department, claiming they failed to follow proper city and state protocols when the student participated in a gym class, before he had been cleared from a concussion he suffered on the football field, and suffered a subsequent concussion.

The plaintiff was a member of a junior varsity football team when on Sept. 26, 2015 he suffered a concussion during a game. Protocol dictated that he could not resume athletic activities until he had been declared symptom-free for at least 24 hours and received written authorization from a physician.

Such an authorization must be maintained as part of the student’s permanent health record, according to the complaint. The plaintiff also alleges that the city’s Education Department requires that the prohibition applies to all physical activities within the school, including before- and after-school programs, physical education, recess and leagues.

But on March 16, 2016, during a PE class, he was convinced by his classmates to participate in a field hockey game in the school gymnasium. He suffered a second concussion, when he tripped and fell. This has caused him to suffer from “classic concussion symptoms,” such as dizziness, inability to concentrate and nausea, according to the complaint.

The boy’s mother has alleged …

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