Category Archives: General

Court Denies NFL’s Statute of Limitations Argument in Concussion Case Involving Player from the 1950s

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the March Concussion Litigation Reporter)A New York state trial court has denied the NFL’s motion to dismiss a claim in which the son of a former NFL player, who was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after his death, sued the league for fraud and negligence.

The lawsuit was filed by Arthur DeCarlo Jr. after his father, Art DeCarlo, died in 2013.  DeCarlo Jr. alleged in the complaint that the risks associated with repeated head blows have been researched and written about in medical journals for nearly a century. Yet, the NFL “ignored, minimized, disputed and suppressed” such studies linking CTE to football. The “century” reference is important because DeCarlo played football for the defendant from 1953 to 1961.

Specifically, he asserted the following causes of action: “(1) counts one and two-fraudulent concealment and fraud; (2) count three-civil conspiracy; (3) counts four and five-negligence; (4) count six-negligent misrepresentation; (5) counts seven and eight-negligent hiring and retention; and (6) count nine-wrongful death and survival.

The NFL moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the claims … (To see the full article, please subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

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Researchers Identify How Inflammation Spreads Through the Brain After Injury

Researchers have identified a new mechanism by which inflammation can spread throughout the brain after injury. This mechanism may explain the widespread and long-lasting inflammation that occurs after traumatic brain injury, and may play a role in other neurodegenerative diseases.

The findings were published in a study in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.

This new understanding has the potential to transform how brain inflammation is understood, and, ultimately, how it is treated. The researchers showed that microparticles derived from brain inflammatory cells are markedly increased in both the brain and the blood following experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI). These microparticles carry pro-inflammatory factors that can activate normal immune cells, making them potentially toxic to brain neurons. Injecting such microparticles into the brains of uninjured animals creates progressive inflammation at both the injection site and eventually in more distant sites.

Research has found that neuroinflammation often goes on for years after TBI, causing chronic brain damage. The researchers say that the microparticles may play a key role in this process.

Chronic inflammation has been increasingly implicated in the progressive cell loss and neurological changes that occur after TBI. These inflammatory microparticles may be a key mechanism for chronic, progressive brain inflammation and may represent a new target for treating brain injury.

The researchers on the paper include four University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers: Alan Faden, Stephen R. Thom, Bogdan A. Stoica, and David Loane.

“These results potentially provide a new conceptual framework for understanding brain inflammation and its relationship to brain cell loss and neurological deficits after head injury, and may be relevant for other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease in which neuroinflammation may also play a role,” said Dr. Faden. “The idea that brain inflammation can trigger more inflammation at a distance through the release of microparticles may offer novel treatment targets for a number of important brain diseases.”

The researchers studied mice, and found that in animals who had a traumatic brain injury, levels of microparticles in the blood were much higher. Because each kind of cell in the body has a distinct fingerprint, the researchers could track exactly where the microparticles came from. The microparticles they looked at in this study are released from cells known as microglia, immune cells that are common in the brain. After an injury, these cells often go into overdrive in an attempt to fix the injury. But this outsized response can change protective inflammatory responses to chronic destructive ones.

The findings have important potential clinical implications. The researchers say that microparticles in the blood have the potential to be used as a biomarker – a way to determine how serious a brain injury may be. This could help guide treatment of the injuries, whose severity is often difficult to gauge.

They also found that exposing the inflammatory microparticles to a compound called PEG-TB could neutralize them. This opens up the possibility of using that compound or others to treat TBI, and perhaps even other neurodegenerative diseases.

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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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