Category Archives: High School

Attorney: Finding of CTE in Seau Is ‘a Potentially Serious Threat to Football’

Cal Burnton, a litigation partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer in Chicago, suggested to Concussion Policy and the Law/Concussion Litigation Reporter this week that “the disclosure by the National Institute of Health that Junior Seau suffered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a potentially serious threat to football as we know it.

“Seau was a 12-time pro bowler with no history of concussions.  The fact that he suffered CTE further buttresses the fears of past and current players, and supports the argument of those who contend football today is simply too dangerous and violent a sport to allow to continue without substantive changes.6685576931_d08618bdff_m

“At present, approximately 4000 former players have filed lawsuits against the NFL. There are approximately 12,000 former NFL players, and it is expected that many more may file claims given the findings involving Seau. At present the league’s defense is premised on the argument that the players’ claims are preempted under federal labor law by virtue of various collective bargaining agreements between the NFL and the players. The final briefs are due in court January 28, 2013, and a ruling is expected thereafter. Should the motion be denied, the door will be open to discovery of NFL files and records, as well as those of the equipment manufacturers.  The attorneys for the players clearly hope to establish a long pattern of false information and non-disclosure of risks.

“But more significantly, the Seau findings will lead to increased discussion, research and scrutiny of the risks of football.  With players at every level getting bigger, stronger and faster, there is concern that the hits suffered by players even without causing concussions may be causing long-term harm.  No doubt high school and college football administrators are following the developments concerning player health and asking whether the risks to player health outweigh the benefits of the game.”

Photo by Tim Hipps

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School District Emphasizes Concussion Education, Formation of a Management Team

The Carthage Central School District in New York state adopted a concussion policy last month, which requires that staff members who oversee physical activity and health matters be trained to identify signs of a concussion.

The district’s policy impacts physical education teachers, coaches and nurses.

Athletic Director Stephen J. Nolan told the Watertown Daily Times that the new policy calls for the creation of a concussion management team (CMT), which includes himself, the student athlete’s coach and the school health office, that will determine when the athlete will be allowed to return to play. The team is expected to “review and/or design an appropriate plan for the student while he/she is recovering.”

The team will also regulate the student’s academic recovery with a return-to-school protocol, according to the paper. “The CMT members pertinent to the individual student’s academic needs will be contacted and notified of their medical status and any restrictions,” reads the policy.

The new policy can be found at www.carthagecsd.org/athletics.cfm.

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January Issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter

The latest issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter has been posted for subscribers.

  • NFL’s Disability  Board’s Acknowledgement of Mike Webster’s Head Injuries While Playing: A  Vicious Hit to NFL’s Position in Concussion Litigation? By Jarett Warner
  • Cheerleading — the Forgotten Sport By Paul Anderson
  • Ohio Governor Signs Concussion Law  that Includes Younger Athletes, Introduces ‘Accountability’ By Holt Hackney
  • Cheerleader Sues   School District,  Coaches, Claiming Negligence By Holt Hackney
  • Sudden Impact: Liability for Sports  Related Concussions By John McKiggan
  • Ivy  League Concussion Policy Strives to Reduce Exposure By Brian Hendrickson
  • Lomas Brown and the Concussion Issue By Holt Hackney
  • Deciphering the Drew Tate Concussion Controversy By Holt Hackney with Jon Heshka

See Concussion Litigation Reporter for this month’s issue.

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