Category Archives: Litigation

Owners of Concussion Company Embroiled in Litigation

The owners of Battle Sports Science, maker of the Impact Indicator, a concussion-detecting football helmet chin strap, and other sports safety products, are fighting among themselves.

Jeff Evans, co-founder of the Omaha-based company, claimed in a recently filed lawsuit that his partners plotted to fire him, block his access to company accounts and pursue new opportunities without him.

The defendants are co-founders Christopher Circo and Tony Schrager. The men have retained attorney David Hefflinger of McGrath & North.

Among other things, Evans claims Circo and Schrager transferred their interests in Battle Sports to a new firm, Active Brands, without his consent, according to the Omaha World Herald. Evans further claims that he was locked out of the Battle Sports office and has been unable to prevent Circo and Schrager from “recklessly” spending money and breaching contracts.

Evans reportedly claims he is entitled to control of Battle Sports.

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Researchers Zero in on Risk Factors for Prolonged Sports Concussion Symptoms; Impact Seen of Return to Play Guidelines

Researchers at the University of Washington have found clear, identifiable factors that signal whether an athlete will experience concussive symptoms beyond one week.

The researchers sought to identify risk factors for prolonged concussion symptoms by examining a large national database of high school athletes’ injuries.

Previous concussion studies were limited in scope, focusing only on male football players. The information from this study applies to male and female athletes from a number of different sports.

Researchers found that athletes who have four or more symptoms at initial injury were more likely to have persistent concussive symptoms. Drowsiness, concentration difficulties, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise were also associated with longer-lasting concussive symptoms.

The results of this study could change how long high school athletes are kept from returning to play after a concussion. Previously, athletes who lost consciousness were held out from playing longer than those who did not lose consciousness, but the study found little correlation between loss of consciousness and persistent symptoms.

Dr. Sara P. D. Chrisman, an adolescent medicine fellow in the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics, headed the study.

“The medical community is becoming more aware that concussions may not be a minor injury and may result in prolonged symptoms,” she said. “This is a step towards developing evidence-based return to play guidelines.”

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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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