Tag Archives: pop warner
The following documents are now available to Concussion Litigation Reporter subscribers:
Paul Montador v. NHL Complaint
Jeffrey Lance Cruce v. The Berkeley County School District Complaint
Crystal Dixon et al. v. Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc. et al. Ruling
Concussions and repetitive head injuries are not just experienced by pro players. In fact, more than three-quarters of the football players in the United States are under the age of 14 and they are just as – and perhaps more – susceptible to head injuries because their brains are still developing.
Should these three million youngsters be playing the sport?
“Most pro football players probably began playing the game as children, so it is imperative that we conduct more scientific research to fully understand the effects of repeated hits to the brains of children and teens,” said Joel Stitzel, Ph.D., chairman of the Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Science.
“But completely banning children from playing football is not the best option. Team sports, including football, have many positive benefits for kids, so finding ways to make these sports safer should be our objective. Pop Warner football already has made important changes to its regulations, and more needs to be done to improve equipment, practice guidelines and regulations based on the most current research findings.”
Stitzel and his team at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are collaborating with researchers at Virginia Tech and two other universities on the largest and most comprehensive biomedical study of youth football players to date. The five-year project is being funded by a $3.3 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health. The potential impact of this study is significant because there are more than 3 million youth football players across the country.
(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the January issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To see the full article, subscribe at https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)
By Carla Varriale, of Havkins, Rosenfeld, Ritzert and Varriale
In a case that is of keen interest to youth sports, a California court denied recent motions by Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc. (“PWLS”) and other defendants seeking dismissal of the claims against them. In Crystal Dixon, et al v. Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., the plaintiffs’ Third Amended Complaint put forth claims for negligence, respondeat superior and violations of California’s Business and Professional Code, among others. The Third Amended Complaint also contained a claim for punitive damages. The motions for adjudication of issues were denied in part because of lingering questions about the failure to coach the injured plaintiff in proper tackling technique and whether there was a conscious disregard for his safety based on the evidence presented. The Third Amended Complaint alleged that the injured plaintiff was rendered a quadriplegic after he attempted to tackle an opposing player using an improper head-first tackling technique which he claimed his coaches taught and instructed him to use.
The decision is instructive for two reasons.
First, the “Parental/Guardian Permission and Waiver Agreement” (the “Waiver and Release”) failed to protect PWLS under the circumstances although it was clear, unambiguous and specifically referenced the risk of injury at issue in the Dixon case.
The Waiver and Release stated:
INTENT TO INFORM
I acknowledge that I am fully aware of the potential dangers of participation in any sport and I fully understand that participation in football, cheerleading and/or dance, and related activities may result on SERIOUS INJURIES, PARALYSIS, PERMANANET [sic] DISABILITY AND/OR DEATH to myself, my children, and/or entire family. Further, I do hereby forever discharge, waive, release, absolve, indemnify, and agree to hold harmless Pop Warner, and any and all organizers, sponsors, supervisors, administrators, officers, directors, staff, referees, participants, and persons transporting the above named participant to and from activities, from any claim arising out of any injury to myself and/or my/our child whether the result of negligence or any other cause…” (“Compendium of Exhibits,” Exhibit “D;” emphasis theirs).
The court acknowledged that under California law, to be enforceable a putative waiver or release must clearly apprise the releasor or indemnitor of the effect of the release or waiver. In fact, every possible specific act of negligence of the defendant need not be spelled out in the agreement or even discussed by the parties. It is only necessary that the act of negligence, which results in injury to the releasor, be reasonably related to the object or purpose for which the release is given.
Based on the language cited above, there was … (for the full summary, visit https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/ to subscribe)