Category Archives: Hockey
Concussed Football Player Sues School District After Coach Tells Him to ‘Man Up’ Among Stories in Latest Concussion Litigation Reporter
Concussion Litigation Reporter, November 2019, Vol. 8, No. 5
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
Concussed High School Football Player Sues School District After Coach Allegedly Tells Him to ‘Man Up’ and ‘Get Back Out There’
NFHS Sparks Controversy With Position Paper Claiming No Linkage Between CTE and Playing High School Football
Mets Fan Sues Team After Getting Hit in the Head by a T-shirt Fired from a T-shirt and Suffering Concussion
Doctor and Co-Founder of Tulane’s Center of Sport Talks Concussions
WWE Challenges Lawsuit Brought by Former Wrestlers
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Basic Issues to Consider in Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation
Study Finds No Link Between Youth Contact Sports and Cognitive, Mental Health Problems
Federal Trade Commission Sues Dallas-Based Maker of Brain Health Supplements, Citing Deceptive Claims
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Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions, can be caused by anything from sports injuries to battlefield trauma. And they can have fatal or lasting effects. The results of a severe concussion–problems with thinking, memory, movement, emotions–are clear. The causes, or underlying pathological mechanisms, were not.
A new study questions the ongoing hypothesis that the blunt force behind a traumatic brain injury causes nerve damage, or axonal injury. A team of researchers, including Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory professor Partha Mitra, found greater signs of blood vessel damage than nerve damage after performing post mortem scans on an injured brain. The findings could influence the treatment of and development of new drugs for TBI.
“Nerve damage following traumatic brain injuries has been a majority point of view, and therapy as well as drug development has been targeted towards that,” Mitra said. “The idea is that if the mechanism is actually different, therapeutic intervention may also be different.”
Mitra’s lab worked on the research with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, University of Maryland, Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences who had been studying human brains of deceased patients using MRI. The CSHL team performed closer analysis on the postmortem brain tissue using a high-throughput neurohistological pipeline (an assemblage of techniques for labeling and visualizing brain slices) Mitra developed to study the wiring of mouse brains.
With MRI, the resolution is limited to several hundred microns, which makes it hard to discern whether nerve fiber (axonal) or blood vessel (vascular) injuries had occurred, Mitra said. Digitally analyzing the postmortem tissue at micron resolution, correlated with the MRI scan, allowed the team to see the vascular injury more clearly.
Mitra focused on areas surrounding lesions, or where the trauma left a physical imprint on the brain. They appeared on MRI scans as “black blobs.” The team used an iron stain (which shows up in blue) for presence of blood and a myelin stain for presence of nerve fiber fragments on the brain samples. They saw a significant amount of iron-marked blood cells across the area where the lesion was located in the brain sample, indicating traumatic microbleeds caused by ruptures along the blood vessels across the brain. The researchers did not observe any significant nerve damage from the myelin stains.
While the researchers could not completely rule out that patients with TMBs also suffered axonal injury, they concluded that traumatic vascular injury is a distinct characteristic of traumatic microbleeds and could be a target for new therapies.
The team also found that traumatic microbleeds often predict future health problems and disabilities for people with TBI, but could not determine the direction of the relationship between TMBs and acute injuries. TMBs could simply be a signature of more severe injury, or they could cause a worse outcome.
Because of this, the team thinks that follow-up experiments are needed to identify the underlying causes and effects of TBI for better diagnosis, prognosis, identifying therapeutic targets and improving patient outcomes.
Montgomery McCracken is pleased to announce that the firm has partnered with Hackney Publications to launch Sports Medicine and Law, a complete source for news, case summaries, articles, and strategies concerning sports medicine and the law, whether they arise at the professional, collegiate, high school, and amateur levels. Members of Montgomery McCracken’s Sports Injury Practice, including partner Steven Pachman and associates Dylan Henry and Kim Sachs, will serve as editors. Sports Medicine and Law is provided free to members of the sports industry, and readers can subscribe here.
Montgomery McCracken’s Sports Injury practice defends and advises colleges, universities, and high schools, medical professionals (physicians, athletic trainers, and nurse practitioners), coaches, and organizations on a national basis since 2005 in traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases, with a focus on concussion, second impact syndrome, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Pachman is a partner in Montgomery McCracken’s Litigation Department. His practice concentrates on the defense of TBI cases, and representing individuals and school systems in catastrophic sports injury matters arising out of alleged premature return-to-play decisions and other negligence theories in the sports’ context. His representations include a number of high-profile, nationally-publicized concussion and other TBI cases against NCAA member colleges and universities, high schools, and school personnel, including athletic trainers, coaches, physicians, and nurse practitioners. These cases involve catastrophically-injured football players and other athletes who allegedly sustained prior concussions and second impact syndrome as well as players diagnosed with CTE following a post-mortem autopsy of the brain. Pachman also regularly advises school officials and attorneys, risk managers, athletic departments and their staff, and health care professionals on institutional liability issues concerning sport-related concussions, second impact syndrome, and other sport-related injuries.
Pachman is a frequent speaker on legal matters concerning the proper management of sport-related concussions and other sport-related injuries and has authored a number of articles on the topics of how to minimize the risk of legal liability for sport-related injuries and defend against lawsuits arising out of catastrophic sport-related events. Pachman is regularly quoted by national media, including ESPN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CBS Sports, and has guest lectured at colleges and law schools, including the University of Michigan, the University of Oklahoma, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Maryland, Villanova University, and Virginia Tech. Additionally, he has presented before the NCAA, the Big 10, the Big 12, the Ivy League, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the College Athletic Trainers’ Society, and the American Academy of Neurology.
Henry is an associate in Montgomery McCracken’s Litigation Department. He focuses his practice on commercial litigation. Dylan counsels individuals, school systems, and organizations on catastrophic sports injury matters, the proper management of sport-related concussions and other sport-related injuries, and TBI matters. He frequently presents and has authored articles on these legal issues and how these individuals and institutions can minimize their risk of legal liability for sport-related injuries and defend against lawsuits arising out of sport-related events.
Sachs is an associate in Montgomery McCracken’s Litigation Department and recently joined the firm’s Sports Injury practice.
About Montgomery McCracken
Montgomery McCracken is a full-service law firm with offices in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. The firm represents leading businesses, multinational corporations, nonprofit organizations and individuals across a wide range of industries in complex litigation matters, significant corporate transactions and challenging disputes. For more information about Montgomery McCracken or its practice areas, please visit us online at www.mmwr.com or on Twitter at @MMWR_Law.
About Hackney Publications
Hackney Publications delivers valuable and important information about the legal side of the sports industry. Its overriding mission, through its publications, is to maintain a narrow editorial focus on issues that matter to its subscribers. The company was founded by journalist Holt Hackney, who has spent more than 30 years writing about sports, business and the law. Besides SFL, Hackney Publications also produces Legal Issues in College Athletics, Sports Litigation Alert, Journal of NCAA Compliance, Legal Issues in High School Athletics, Concussion Litigation Reporter, and Professional Sports and the Law.