Tag Archives: trainer

Settlement Reached Between Student Athlete and University in Concussion Litigation

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the April issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To subscribe, visit the following link – http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

A confidential settlement agreement has reportedly been reached between the parties in Walen v. Portland State University, et al., in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, Multnomah County, No. 14CV12218.

While the financial terms weren’t disclosed, attorneys for plaintiff Zachary Walen noted that Portland State University (PSU) has agreed to update the concussion policy used by its sports medicine staff. The changes reportedly include:

  1. The risk of developing post-concussion syndrome will be included in the education provided to student-athletes and the training provided to coaches and staff.
  2. The training of coaches and staff will include an explanation regarding the concussion healing process, which depending on the student athlete’s condition, can take weeks and possibly longer.
  3. Student-athletes will be informed of their right to seek, at their own cost, a return-to-play opinion from a physician who is not a member of the PSU Sports Medicine Staff. The most conservative opinion will be followed. All student-athletes will be informed of this option during the education provided to student-athletes.
  4. At the student-athlete’s request and with his or her consent, the parent(s) of a concussed student-athlete will be informed if their son or daughter has been diagnosed with a concussion and when the student-athlete has been cleared to return to full sport participation. All student-athletes will be informed of this option during the education provided to student-athletes.

The initial injury to Walen, who sought $5 million in damages, occurred on opening day in September of 2012 during the linebacker’s first game as a Viking. It is uncontested that in the fourth quarter of that game that Walen suffered a head injury after a direct blow to the head. Though coaches and staff allegedly failed to identify the concussion in the aftermath of the hit, Walen’s parents brought him to the hospital shortly after the game, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.

The plaintiff alleged in his complaint that …

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Family Seeks Millions in Wake of Defendants’ Alleged Failure to Follow Concussion Protocol

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from a summary that appeared in the April issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To subscribe, visit the following link – http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

The family of a high school football player has sued a group of defendants—including the school district, its insurers, the employer of an athletic trainer, and multiple individual defendants—after the player was inserted into a game before he had been given medical clearance to return to play from a concussion he had suffered a week earlier.

The player suffered the first concussion in the fall of 2014 and was taken to an emergency room where he was diagnosed with a minor concussion.

He rested at home for a couple days, bypassing both the classroom and the practice field. He then went to see a doctor at the, who evaluated him and affirmed the diagnosis of a concussion. The doctor told him he was not to resume practice and gave him a note to give to the coach.

The coach exchanged text messages with an athletic trainer, who was employed by the clinic, who said the player could possibly have the flu, according to the lawsuit. (for the details in the case and the rest of the summary, please subscribe to Concussion Litigation Reporter)

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Oft-Criticized NFL Gets It Right by Funding Athletic Trainers at High Schools

Say what you want about the NFL and its self-serving ways from time to time. But its latest announced initiative will help reduce concussions. Specifically:

“The NFL Foundation, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), Gatorade and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) have announced the winners of the Athletic Trainer Initiative, a national grant contest to expand access to athletic trainers in underserved high schools and improve youth athlete safety. The fifteen winning schools each received $50,000 to develop athletic training programs that will provide nearly 5,000 student athletes with consistent access to this valuable resource. The announcement was made at the seventh-annual Youth Sports Safety Summit, hosted by NATA and the Youth Sports Safety Alliance.

The winners of the national grant contest are (more details included below):

  • Alden-Conger Public School (Alden, MN)
  • Attica Central School (Attica, NY)
  • California Lutheran High School (Wildomar, CA)
  • Canyon Ridge High School (Twin Falls, ID)
  • Carlisle High School (Henderson, TX)
  • John Muir High School (Pasadena, CA)
  • Lutheran High School (Chula Vista, CA)
  • Marist High School (Bayonne, NJ)
  • Mount St. Michael Academy (Bronx, NY)
  • Orrick R-XI High School (Orrick, MO)
  • Pleasant Valley High School (Chico, CA)
  • Anthony Village High School (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Thomas More High School (Rapid City, SD)
  • Walpole High School (Walpole, MA)
  • William V. Fisher Catholic High School (Lancaster, OH)

Ten additional high schools will receive an athletic safety presentation given by a local athletic trainer and a safety kit, which includes a Hydration Starter Kit from Gatorade and educational materials.

“This effort addresses a critical need and provides the means for these high schools to establish athletic training programs that will enhance the health and safety of their student athletes,” said Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of health and safety policy. “This is an area of priority for us, and we will continue to work with our partners to expand access to athletic trainers in more schools across the country.”

Athletic trainers play a vital role in the health and safety of athletes. A recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that the presence of athletic trainers resulted in lower overall injury rates, improved diagnosis and return-to-play decisions for concussion and other injuries, and fewer recurrent injuries for student athletes. However, nearly two-thirds of high schools lack a full-time athletic trainer and almost thirty-percent do not have access to any athletic training services. This grant contest helps to tackle this need by providing schools with the necessary funding, educational resources, and programmatic support to put athletic trainers on the sidelines and better protect their athletes.

“A top priority of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association is the health and safety of the high school athlete,” said NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “Through our partnership with the NFL, Gatorade and Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, more students will be protected with the best possible safety measures in place.”

The grant contest, which launched in October, is an extension of the partners’ athletic training outreach program. The partners have committed more than $3 million to help fund athletic trainers in communities nationwide. To date, the outreach program has impacted an estimated 160,000 student athletes across more than 670 schools.

“We understand the importance of secondary school athletic trainers and believe partnerships like this one are key to ensuring youth athlete safety,” said Jeff Kearney, head of Gatorade Sports Marketing. “This program has brought us one step closer to the ultimate goal of having a full-time athletic trainer in every high school in the country, and we are proud to have worked with the NFL, NATA and PFATS on this important initiative.”

“The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society is pleased to be a part of this important initiative,” said Rick Burkholder, MS, ATC, PFATS president and head athletic trainer of the Kansas City Chiefs. “Athletic trainers play a critical role in the overall safety of all athletes, and the students at these winning schools will receive the medical services they so deserve.”

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