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Plaintiff Fails to Show USA Water Polo Was Negligent in Concussion Case

Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from a case summary that appeared in the July issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To subscribe, visit

A federal judge from the Central District of California has ruled that USA Water Polo “struck the proper balance between promoting vigorous competition and ensuring the safety of its competitors,” when it dismissed the claim of a mother, whose 16-year-old daughter, H.C., suffered a concussion in the pool.

The mother had claimed that USA Water Polo failed to have an adequate concussion policy or respond in a timely manner to the concussion, “aggravating” the initial injury and leading to post-concussion syndrome.

By way of background, H.C. played water polo for one of 500 USA Water Polo-registered clubs and was participating in a tournament organized and managed by USA Water Polo. On the first day of the tournament, H.C., while playing the goalie position, was hit in the face by a shot, which led to a concussion. H.C’s coach, allegedly lacking any concussion management training, allowed H.C. to continue playing in that game and in subsequent games where she …

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Sports Law Expert – The Kickoff

Welcome to the Sports Law Expert blog, a media outlet designed to communicate the availability of sports law experts to the legal community.

One of the blog’s goals is to share news and insights about sports law experts, whether they are attorneys or expert witness, that will help you the lawyer make the best possible decision about who you want to retain.KENTUCKY2010 066

We will do this by interviewing sports law experts as well as reporting on their speaking engagements and bylined articles. Please inquire if you would like to contribute a blog post. We are looking for posts that are relevant to those who make a living as expert witnesses and sports law attorneys that have a proven legal expertise in a segment of the sports industry.

The publisher of this post is Holt Hackney of Hackney Publications, the nation’s leading publisher of sports law periodicals. Hackney is also the former editor of The Examining Expert and The Testifying Expert, two newsletters published by LRP Publications.

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Attorneys Debate California’s Worker Compensation Laws and the Role They Play with Concussions

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the June issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To see the full story, please subscribe at

Modesto Diaz and Michael Gianchino have most assuredly spent many years opposing one another in workers’ compensation cases in the state of California.

Diaz, the managing partner at Santa Ana-based Leviton Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc. represents plaintiffs, while Gianchino, a partner an Oakland-based Hanna, Brophy, MacLean, McAleer & Jensen, LLP, works with defendants.

But on one Friday afternoon in May, the veteran lawyers shared a table, along with moderator Richard L Wagenheim of Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, at the annual Sports Lawyers Association meeting in Los Angeles. They sought to find common ground at the intersection of sports concussions and workers compensation claims in that state.

At best what they found was a tiny patch of grass.

Throughout the session, Diaz empathized with former professional athletes, who have suffered cognitive decline after having their “bell rung” too many times over their careers. Meanwhile, Gianchino questioned whether there was “substantial medical evidence” linking garden-variety impacts in professional sports with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Diaz set the stage, noting that California is one of a handful of states that recognize the cumulative trauma injury, which occurs over a period of time.

“One occurrence may not be that significant, but if it happens over an extended period over a time, such as player’s career, then you have an issue,” he said. “No one wants to accept responsibility for the consequences of these injuries and this is where …

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