Category Archives: High School

Former Athletic Trainer Sues Union, Citing Coaches’ Dismissiveness About Athletes’ Concussions

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt for the latest issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. You can subscribe to  CLR by visiting this link.)

A former high school athletic trainer has sued the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union (WSSU), an administrative organization that provides support and services for several educational institutions in Vermont, claiming she resigned under pressure after coaches were dismissive of her measures and concerns regarding traumatic brain injuries suffered by the athletes under her care.

Jaclyn Penson, a resident of New Hampshire, filed suit March 3 in federal court in Vermont, alleging wrongful termination in violation of Vermont’s public policy mandating protection of student athletes participating in school athletic programs.

The plaintiff, represented by attorney Norman E. Watts of Watts, is seeking a jury trial, judgment, and an award from her supervisory union for lost compensation and benefits as well as damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.

Penson began her nearly 4-year tenure at Brattleboro Union High School in 2016. She was designated an “allied health care provider” under Vermont law. Her duties included “promoting and implementing an effective athletic training program; providing first aid, injury evaluation diagnosis and assessments, treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning for student athletes; and protecting student athletes from serious injuries,” according to the lawsuit. She was also required “to implement, administer, supervise, and update concussion protocols for student athletes and maintain an emergency action plan.” She also was responsible for supervising “the clearance on injured athletes prior to and during the sports seasons,” as well as “the required training and certifications of all coaches and (coordinating) their professional development.”

The complaint continued: “Although plaintiff was charged with the aforementioned responsibilities and enforcement of safety protocols for student athletes, some of …

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Table of Contents from the February Issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter

February 2020, Vol. 8, No. 8

Timely reporting on developments and legal strategies at the intersection of sports and concussions—articles that benefit practicing attorneys who may be pursuing a claim or defending a client.

Table of Contents

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Concussion Legacy Foundation’s Nowinski Gets Active on Social on Eve of Super Bowl

(Editor’s Note: The following is one of nine stories that will appear in Concussion Litigation Reporter this week. To subscribe, visit here.)

Christopher Nowinski, Co-Founder & CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF), is as influential as anyone when it comes to highlighting the dangers of sports concussions.

So it was no surprise that the CLF was behind the creation of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that generated a lot of buzz last fall.

Nowinski spent Saturday, they day before the Super Bowl, reminding everyone about those dangers on LinkedIn.

“Did you know that any future high school, college or NFL football player who starts tackle football at age 5 will have 10 times the odds of developing CTE than if he had started at age 14?” he wrote in a post.

Chris Nowinski

“Our provocative ‘Tackle Can Wait’ PSA drives home the message that youth tackle football is unacceptably dangerous for children. The PSA, which shows youth tackle football players smoking while playing the game, is inspired by research showing that the risk of developing CTE is not correlated to number of concussions, but is instead correlated with the number of years playing tackle football. The research showed the link between tackle football and CTE may be stronger than the link between smoking and lung cancer. The Concussion Legacy Foundation‘s message to parents on Super Bowl weekend is simple: wait until age 14 to allow your children to play tackle football.

“Thanks to the amazing team at Fingerpaint for their work on this campaign. For information about the research behind the PSA, visit TackleCanWait.com

In the comment section below the post, he was asked about the study, which he dutifully provided: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6973077/pdf/ANA-87-116.pdf

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