Category Archives: Litigation
Here’s the table of contents of the July 2017 (Vol. 6, No. 1) issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter, which features timely reporting on developments and legal strategies at the intersection of sports and concussions.
- Fourth Circuit Affirms Lower Court Ruling, Finding NFL’s Post-Retirement Disability Apparatus Failed Ex-Player
- Court Dismisses Concussion Lawsuit Against Coach as Her Inexperience Works in Her Favor
- Boogaard Ruling Blurs NHL Liability in Head-Injury Suits
- Negligence or Assumption of Risk? The Case of Rugby Player George North
- A Boxing Tragedy: The Prichard Colon Case
- Bylaw Giving Teeth to Physicians and Athletic Trainers in Return-to-Play Decisions Set to Kick Off for Division II and III
- Head Impact Exposure Increases as Youth Football Players Get Older, Bigger
- Magistrate Recommends That Some of Omnibus Claim From Mother and Her Concussed Daughter Can Continue
- Looking in all the Wrong Places: The Tragic Death of Aaron Hernandez
(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from the recent issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To read the full article, please subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)
By Gary Wolensky, Anne Marie Ellis, and Paul Alarcon, of Buchalter (www.buchalter.com)
On Sept. 27, 2014, 17-year-old Isaiah Langston, a Rolesville High School football player, suffered a concussion-producing collision with another teammate during a team practice.
According to a lawsuit recently filed by Langston’s family in North Carolina, Rolesville’s failure to properly respond to this concussion led to the teen’s death. In its complaint, the family alleges that while Rolesville’s coaches and staff checked Langston and sat him out for the remainder of practice, they never notified his parents of his injury and subsequently allowed Langston to return two days later to participate in pre-game drills and warm-ups without obtaining any medical clearance. The family alleges that Langston began complaining of head pain during these drills and then collapsed and died shortly thereafter.
In its lawsuit, Langston’s family alleges that Rolesville violated North Carolina’s “Return to Play” laws enacted to prevent concussion-related injuries arising when a youth sports participant returns to play after suffering a concussion. Return to Play laws have been enacted in some form by every state in the country in response to the changing landscape of concussion awareness in youth sports. Such laws are intended to increase awareness and care in addressing concussions. Specifically, Return to Play laws generally impose educational, training and notification requirements designed to ensure that coaches, parents, and youth athletes are better educated about the signs and risks of concussions.
The Return to Play laws enacted in California are among the most robust in the country. Specifically, California’s Education Code imposes an array of concussion and head-injury related obligations on any school districts, charter schools, and private schools that offer an athletic program. See, e.g., Cal. Educ. Code § 49475(a). If a coach or administrator suspects that an athlete sustained a concussion or head injury, the athlete must be removed from play for the remainder of the day as well as receive an evaluation from a licensed health care practitioner with expertise in concussion-related injuries. Id. at § 49475(a)(1). If no concussion is diagnosed, the athlete must receive a written medical clearance before returning to practice. Id. If a concussion is diagnosed, then the athlete must complete a graduated return-to-play protocol for seven days under the supervision of a health care practitioner. Id. Lastly, athletes and their parents must sign an annual concussion and head-injury information sheet. Id. at 49475(a)(2).
Additionally, California recently dramatically expanded the scope of its Return to Play laws. Specifically, California’s new statutory requirements …
The Concussion Health Summit, In Partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Announces Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz as Keynote Speaker
Concussion Health, in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will host The Concussion Health Summit in Columbus, Ohio, at the Hyatt Regency Friday, July 28-Saturday, July 29, 2017.
This two day long program will encourage education and discussion – bringing together an influential array of experts, practitioners, and innovators from a range of specialties who will discuss the latest knowledge and technology regarding concussion management. By emphasizing the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach, the Summit aims to make the connection between prevention, baseline testing, time of injury, post-injury exam and the recovery process. The Program Planning Committee has assembled a faculty of renowned clinical experts to provide opportunities for approved continuing education sessions as well as special programming for concussion
survivors and caregivers. The Concussion Health Summit will also provide opportunities to network through social events and round table discussions.
“Hearing from the diverse panel of experts assembled will afford attendees an opportunity to expand their knowledge and skill base in caring for concussion patients,” said Mark A. Letendre, ATC, Co-Chair of The Concussion Health Summit and Director of Umpire Medical Services for Major League Baseball. “Allowing a hands-on approach as part of the Summit will take thoughts and information shared and turn them into actionable patient care trajectories.”
The Summit will be highlighted by Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz who will serve as Luncheon Keynote Speaker on Saturday, July 29th. Dr. Guskiewicz is a neuroscientist, nationally recognized expert and leading researcher in the field of sport-related concussions. He became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in January 2016.
Other highlights include but are not limited to:
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital Speaker –Thomas Pommering, DO, is Division Chief for Sports Medicine and Medical Director for Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Family Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “The Concussion Health Summit is a great opportunity for medical professionals to learn and begin the process of applying the latest concussion diagnosis and clinical treatment advances supported by vigorous research,” said Pommering. “On behalf of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine, we are pleased to partner with Concussion Health and offer continued education and discussion on this very important topic.”
- Baseline/Performance and Rehab/Progression Hands-On Workshops – These 30 minute hands-on workshops mimic clinical settings, providing interactive experiences with experts and attendees. Topics include: Train Above the Neck; Neck Strengthening; Lower Extremity Functional Testing; Vestibular; Vision; Exertion; Sport Specific Training.
- Cutting-Edge Topics – Treatment of Concussion Starting Day 2; Baseline Testing as a Comprehensive Injury Program; Correlation Between Mild Head Trauma in Elderly Falls and Repeated Visits to the Emergency Department; Treatment Program for PTSD; Latest Non-Traditional Adjunctive Brain Recovery Therapies; Sub-Concussive Head Injuries; Neuropsychological Testing.
- Continuing Education Credits – The Concussion Health Summit has been approved for 14 EBP Category hours/CEUs for Athletic Trainers and 14 continuing education credit hours for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists.
“Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has received notable attention in the literature over many years with a consensus that each individual presents uniquely and recovery requires an intra-disciplinary and customized approach,” said Bridgett Wallace, PT, DPT and Co-Chair of The Concussion Health Summit. “Yet, such ideas towards concussion (a type of TBI) has lagged in both research and clinical application. It is extremely exciting and promising to see experts from a variety of medical specialties sharing their knowledge on the evolving field of concussion management, especially the evolution of concussion as a treatable injury.”
Concussion Health and Nationwide Children’s Hospital would like to thank the following sponsor and exhibitors for their support of The 2017 Concussion Health Summit: Bertec, ImPACT Applications, Inc.; Micromedical Technologies, Inc.; Upledger Institute; Atlas Concussion Testing; Biodex; Cyrex Laboratories; Center for Pain & Stress Research; The IronNeck; BrainCheck; MedTrak VNG, Inc, and Natus; Shuttle Systems. Also, a very special thank you to the Columbus Clippers!
Visit the Concussion Health website at www.concussionhealth.com/the-concussion-health-summit for more information regarding speakers and topics. Registration for healthcare and educational professionals, as well as survivors and caregivers is now open: https://www.concussionhealth.com/register.html