Tag Archives: assessment

Court Dismisses Concussion Lawsuit Against Coach as Her Inexperience Works in Her Favor

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article in the recent issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To read the full article, please subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

A federal judge has granted a cheerleading coach’s motion for summary judgment in a case in which she was sued by a cheerleader, who suffered multiple concussions under her watch.

In so ruling, the court determined that because the coach could not have foreseen the injury, the coach’s actions did not cross the necessary threshold, or exhibit “a degree of culpability that shock the conscience.”

Describing the factual scenario as “tragic,” the court noted that, in September 2014, the plaintiff was a member of a non-competitive cheerleading squad sponsored by a local high school. During that membership, the plaintiff was supervised and coached by the individual defendant and coach, who had been appointed as a cheerleading coach by the school board in March 2014. Prior to this appointment beginning in the fall of 2014, coach had never before served as a cheerleading coach.

While under the tutelage of the coach, the plaintiff suffered the three injuries to her head, which form the basis of this suit. On Sept. 10, 2014, she was injured twice during cheerleading practice. The first injury occurred when the plaintiff threw another cheerleader into the air and the other cheerleader’s feet struck her in her sternum. The impact caused her to fall to the ground and hit the back of her head on the mat. She suffered immediate symptoms of dizziness, fogginess, headache pain, and being tired.

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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

Photo by Tim Hipps

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

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Indiana State Legislature Passes SB222

The Indiana State Legislature passed SB222, the first bill of its kind in the country, which requires football coaches and assistant coaches who are coaching athletes under 20 years of age to complete a course in player safety and concussions at least once every two years. The bill also mandates high school student athletes that are removed from play due to suspected concussions or head injuries to not return to play until at least 24 hours have passed.

Providing input on the bill were members of the NFL Physicians Society and the Indianapolis Colts medical team, Drs. Hank Feuer and Terry Horner provided input for this bill. Through a concussion advisory committee, they helped approve the content of the coaches certifying course encompassing concussion awareness, heat acclimatization, equipment fit and coaching techniques.

Also over the past three years, with the help of a local pediatric sports medicine physician, Dr. Feuer and Dr. Horner have certified 176 Indiana physicians in the administration and interpretation of ImPACT, which provides trained clinicians with neurocognitive assessment tools and services that have been medically accepted as state-of-the-art best practices – as part of determining safe return to play decisions. The doctors conduct the sessions bi-monthly.

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