Category Archives: High School

Mother and Her Football-Playing Son Sue Youth Football Organizations over Concussion; Defendants File Objection

The mother of a Pennsylvania youth football player and her son sued the Warwick Midget Football League, Red Rose Midget Football League (which does business as Red Rose), and several individual defendants in September, alleging they were responsible for the traumatic brain injury that the son suffered during a football game.

The injury to the plaintiff’s son, L.R. Rettew, occurred on September 17, 2017 during a game. L.R. then complained to some of the individual defendants that he was experiencing “headaches, disorientation, while also displaying signs and symptoms of a head injury and/or concussion, including dizziness, disorientation and confusion.

“Despite the complaints, the defendants named herein allowed L.R. to return to the field of play, and he suffered multiple injuries, including, but not limited to, a traumatic brain injury and concussion.”

The plaintiffs further contend that the defendants “knew, or should have known, of the risk of head injury to L.R. when allowing him to continue,,,

(Editor’s Note:The rest of this article and many others can be viewed by subscribing to Concussion Litigation Reporter)

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Riddell Partners with NetVirta ‘to Advance Head Protection with Mobile 3D Technology’

Riddell, a leader in football helmet technology and innovation, entered a strategic partnership with tech company NetVirta. The Boston-based company is the creator of a mobile 3D scanning technology, called Verifyt. Leveraging NetVirta’s Verifyt app, Riddell captures 3D head shape data of an individual’s head. The app streamlines creation of Riddell Precision-Fit helmets, which are designed uniquely for individual athletes.

Riddell Precision-Fit technology debuted in 2017, where it quickly became the industry-leading helmet platform at elite levels. Now, the technology will be available to customers nationwide, where Riddell reps capture data using the app on iOS and Android devices. Verifyt captures head shape measurements with accuracy of +/- 0.5mm, allowing Riddell to create a truly custom fit.

“Our partnership with NetVirta and the use of Verifyt technology demonstrates commitment to creating forward-thinking technologies with industry leaders who help us reach our goal – to deliver improved player protection to football athletes everywhere,” said Thad Ide, Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development for Riddell. “As we develop game-changing technologies like Precision-Fit, it’s important we focus on making them available to all levels. Having an app that reps take to a program brings elite-level product features to the broad football community.”

In the future, Riddell believes “customers will download the app directly, capture head shape data themselves and upload them to an order platform. As this technology expands, so will Riddell’s ability to offer the latest in innovative product features like Precision-Fit to football players everywhere.”

“We’re excited to partner with Riddell on this project using our Verifyt technology, especially where the application has the chance to affect the greater football community,” said Jeff Chen, Co-Founder and CEO of NetVirta. “We established NetVirta with applications like this in mind and are happy to see our Verifyt technology benefit young athletes across the country.”

The Riddell – NetVirta partnership “demonstrates an ongoing commitment to player protection. In 2019, more NFL players were equipped with Precision-Fit helmets than all other manufacturer helmet models combined. At the college level, more than 1,000 players are wearing the helmet this season. Now, with Verifyt technology, Riddell offers athletes broad-scale access to SpeedFlex Precision Diamond and SpeedFlex Precision helmets.”

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Latest Issue of Concussion Defense Reporter Highlights Industry Trends and Most Recent Litigation

(Editor’s Note: What follows is the letter from the editor of Concussion Defense Reporter, Tony Corleto of Wilson Elser. To subscribe to CDR, which is complimentary, visit https://www.concussiondefensereporter.com/)

The Surgeon General has not determined … .

A recent publicity campaign features the image of a mother helping her 10-year-old son, in football gear, light a cigarette. The media reel for that campaign shows a coach, post-game, handing out cigarettes to youth football players.  An adolescent male voice begins “Tackle football is like smoking “ and concludes “Choose flag under 14”.  In a vacuum, one might presume the Surgeon General has issued a public health warning. Wrong. It’s just the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF) on its latest cycle.

On November 11, JAMA Pediatrics published the results of a two year review by a consensus panel of 11 pediatric experts in various fields (neurology, psychology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, sports and exercise, athletic training, epidemiology, prevention), to summarize current literature (1980 – 2018) and provide recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment and management of Sports Related Concussion in youth athletes. The conclusion: “There is not a recommended age or developmental stage at which contact and collision are most safely introduced for practice or competition”.  The only age specific recommendation was in ice hockey, to delay body checking until 13.

CLF has taken the campaign against youth football to state legislatures, most recently in Massachusetts and New York. Previous efforts in Illinois and California failed, we expect the latest efforts to face the same fate.  In this edition of Concussion Defense Reporter, we provide information about the proposed MA bill, including testimony from Scott Hallenbeck (USA Football), Dr. Julian Bailes and Jon Butler (Pop Warner).

Even though media remains ahead of the science, the law seems to get it. Two recent decisions denied class certification for concussion claims. In Jones v BRG (1:18-cv-07250, USDC, ND ILL, 8/1/19), district Court granted Riddell’s motion to strike class a proposed class of “All individuals who wore a Riddell helmet while participating in a High School and/or College Level football program between 1975 and the present”. Recognizing that the claims essentially sought recovery for personal injury, the court acknowledged that individual inquiries particular to each claimant’s activity, exposure and injury would predominate over any common claims about the products at issue, making individual litigation superior to class treatment.  Similarly, in Archie v Pop Warner (2:16-cv-06603, USDC, CD CA, 9/1//19) district court found that a proposed class of “All persons who enrolled their minor children in Pop Warner tackle football from 1997 to present”, for statutory false advertising claims, failed to satisfy the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3). As in Jones, the decision turned on a finding that specific individualized inquiry would be needed for each claimant in the proposed class to determine whether they had in fact been exposed to and relied on the alleged advertisement.  This edition of Concussion Defense Reporter includes a detailed analysis of the Archie decision.

Cheerleading is again in the spotlight.  We report two decisions, one in favor of a school district and one for a university.  In a “second hit” case, Stevens v Azusa Pacific Univ. (2019 WL 2281585, Ca Ct, App., 5/29/19), the appeals court affirmed a ruling that the cheerleader assumed the risk of injury and that a qualified but uncertified coach did not “increase the risk” of harm.  In Biancorosso v Troy Comm. Cons. SD (App. Ct. Ill no. 2-18-0613 8/29/19) the appeals court upheld summary judgment for the school district, over a flier’s claim that the district was negligent or reckless because a cheer mat did not prevent her concussion when she fell out of a stunt.

Last but not least: One NCAA MDL plaintiff has dropped his case because he feels benefit from infrared light therapy Carr v NCAA, Brigham Young (1:16-cv-08581, USDC ND IL) and the Minnesota Vikings overturn an adverse worker’s compensation award Noga v Minnesota Vikings Football Club, 2019 WL 3439661, S. Ct, 2019.

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