Former High School Football Player Can Seek Punitive Damages in Lawsuit against Teammate, Judge Rules

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in October issue on Concussion Litigation Reporter. For the details, subscribe at

A California state court judge has ruled that a former high school football player can seek punitive damages against a teammate, who allegedly crossed the line with his aggression and gave the player a concussion.IMG_0400

The plaintiff, whose name was withheld because he remains a minor, first filed the lawsuit in May of 2015, naming his teammate, the teammate’s parents, the high school, the head coach and others as defendants.

The incident in question occurred during practice in August 2013. The plaintiff allegedly overpowered the teammate during a helmet-to-helmet drill. An assistant coach then allegedly made fun of the teammate for getting beat. On the next play, the teammate used his helmet to smash into a defenseless and vulnerable plaintiff, targeting plaintiff’s helmet and head, to ensure that defendant … would beat plaintiff, according to the complaint. The plaintiff was eventually diagnosed with a concussion, a brainstem stroke, and sensory deficits, according to the complaint.

The defendant and his parents countered through their attorneys that …

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