Appeals Court: Use of Oklahoma Drill May Have Been Gross Negligence

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt of an article that appeared in the April issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter)

A Pennsylvania state appeals court has reversed a trial court, and given new life to the claims of two student-athletes, who sued their coaches and their college after suffering head and spinal injuries during football practice.

In so ruling, the panel of judges found that questions remain about whether the actions of the defendants constituted gross negligence and whether the waiver they had signed should act as a shield to gross negligence claims.

This case involves personal injuries suffered by the plaintiffs on March 29, 2010, while they were participating in a tackling drill during the first day of spring contact football practice at a non-profit junior college in northeastern Pennsylvania and a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Traditionally, the school employed two athletic trainers to support the football program. In June and July 2009, both athletic trainers tendered their resignations to the school.

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