Monthly Archives: February 2012

Attorney Emails Ex-football Players in Search of Additional Clients for Concussion Lawsuit

Our good friend, Darren Heitner, who is the creator and publisher of the sports agent blog (www.sportsagentblog.com), posted a provocative piece today that touched on concussion law. Heitner shared the email of an attorney, Billy Conaty of Montgomery McCracken, who reached out to ex-NFL football players, who may want to join his concussion lawsuit.

Photo by Tim Hipps

The email follows below:

[Name redacted],

Hope you’re doing well, this is Billy Conaty. Like you, I am a former NFL player. I played 9 seasons on the offensive line before becoming an attorney.

You may be aware that hundreds of former players are suing the NFL for allegedly covering up what it knew about the long-term affects of concussions. It is not necessary that a player suffered a diagnosed concussion to join the lawsuit. Players who have ever had any concussion like symptoms while playing such as a headache, dizziness, disorientation, getting your bell rung, seeing stars etc., qualify to join. Many players are now experiencing post-concussion symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, depression, short-term memory loss, sleeplessness, etc. and are looking to hold the NFL accountable for their role in the alleged cover up.

If you have any interest in joining this lawsuit please let me know and I can explain further. Please feel free to call me at [Phone # redacted], or please email me with the best number to reach you.

Thank you,

Billy Conaty

The email is a reflection of a “land grab-like” trend, where attorneys are collecting as many plaintiffs as possible for their respective lawsuits against the NFL.

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Cheerleading Injuries, Especially Concussions, Scrutinized

The Londoner, an Ontario, Canada newspaper, recently reported on the lack of risk assessment in the sport of cheerleading. According to the paper, recent injuries sustained by cheerleaders have served to remind us that cheerleading is, indeed, a sport- just like football, basketball and hockey. However, according to David-Lee Tracey, a long time Saunders Sabres high school cheerleading coach, many perceive cheerleading injuries as being “somehow different and worse than those of athletes in ‘real’ sports.”

 

Tracey told the paper that “when a rugby player gets a concussion, she was ‘playing hard.’ When a cheerleader gets a concussion, the sport, the coach, the school all come under fire. It’s like we don’t have the same right to ‘play hard’ – or our injuries are somehow different and worse than those of athletes in ‘real’ sports – traditional contact sports.”

 

In response to the rising incidence of concussions and other injuries, the paper noted that one school board decreed that its high school cheerleading teams cannot compete at events, unless parents sign waivers absolving the school district of responsibility.

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Researchers Say Helmet Fit Is Critical To Preventing Concussion

Researchers affiliated with the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) suggested yesterday that proper helmet fit may be one of the best ways to prevent a concussion.

“Athletes wearing properly fitted helmets, as reported by team certified athletic trainers, were 82 percent less likely to experience loss of consciousness (LOC) with a concussion. Helmet age and condition, (new vs. reconditioned) were not significant predictors of amnesia or LOC,” said one of the paper’s authors, Joseph Torg, MD of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

Researchers looked at reports from 1,398 concussion events collected by the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance System using High School RIOTM. They used loss of consciousness (LOC) and amnesia as end points to determine concussion severity. Out of those studied, 44 individuals experienced LOC and 267 experienced some form of amnesia. Odds ratios for LOC were calculated based on helmet fit, inner helmet padding systems, athlete age and helmet condition (new vs. reconditioned.)

There is no definitive data that advanced football helmet technology and design is more protective against concussion or intracranial hemorrhage, according to the study. In fact, current data indicates that helmet fit and air bladder lining may be associated with both concussion and intracranial hemorrhage.

“As we look at preventing concussions and minimizing risk, it is important to realize that it is the responsibility of the athletic director and head football coach to have policies that: Insure that each player has a properly fitted helmet and that a responsible adult supervises and oversees proper helmet air bladder inflation on a weekly basis,” said Torg.

AOSSM is also a founding partner of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to prevent overuse and traumatic injuries in kids. For more information on AOSSM or the STOP Sports Injuries campaign, visit http://www.sportsmed.org or http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org.

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