Tag Archives: claims
Whether it is the helmet liner of Unequal Technologies or a protective cap made by Gamebreaker Helmets, companies are rapidly bringing products to market that seek to blunt the concussion problem.
Unequal Technologies, a firm that has been mentioned here before, has enlisted Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who has been a target of NFL discipline for his helmet-to-helmet hits that have caused concussions, to promote the line, which Robert Vito, president of Unequal Technologies, calls a “seat belt for the helmet.”
One-eighth of an inch thick, the liner includes a layer of Kevlar, the synthetic fiber used in bulletproof vests. The liner can be applied over existing helmet padding.
The company labels its product as “concussion reduction technology,” citing independent laboratory tests that show its liner allegedly dissipates head impacts. It added that the liner satisfies, at least in part, the criteria of the Severity Index, a standard created by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), a non-profit group that tests sports helmets.
Meanwhile, Gamebreaker Helmets has launched the Gamebreaker protective cap, which has been described as a new type of protective headgear designed to reduce the threat of concussions and other head injuries for participants in what are considered “non-contact” sports.
Founded by Mike Juels, owner of Corporate Images, a promotional products company, and former NFL player Joey LaRocque, Gamebreaker was introduced over the summer.
“We’ve gone through extensive testing with these helmets to get the right material that would be lightweight, flexible and washable while at the same time offer a good level of protection to the end user,” Juels told the Los Angeles Daily News.
The product is made in Taiwan with team graphics applied at the corporate headquarters and distribution facility in the U.S.
Reebok-CCM Hockey, the official outfitter of the National Hockey League, the American Hockey League, the Canadian Hockey League, and several NCAA and national teams, has taken issue with the pronouncements of a competitor, which allegedly claims to reduce rotational acceleration.
The target of its ire is Bauer and its RE-AKT helmet.
“The topic of head injuries in hockey is too important and of serious concern to the general public to be the subject of confusion in the marketplace regarding product performance.” said Phil Dubé, General Manager for Reebok-CCM Hockey.
Reebok-CCM went on to maintain in a press release that it has “at least one helmet that performs significantly better overall than the RE-AKT helmet at reducing rotational acceleration when tested using a peer-reviewed and scientifically published test protocol designed by the University of Ottawa to specifically evaluate ice hockey helmets. The results of that test were statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level, for all but one head impact location. The test also showed that Reebok-CCM’s helmet performed better at reducing linear acceleration at high speeds to a statistically significant degree.”
The company went on to suggest that “the University of Ottawa’s peer-reviewed and published test protocol using a pneumatic linear impactor to measure rotational impacts is the best test methodology that currently exists to measure rotational impact forces for hockey helmets. The linear impactor simulates player-to-player contact and is similar to a test device created at Wayne State University for the reconstruction of National Football League helmet-to-helmet collisions. There are other test protocols developed in other industries for different types of helmets, such as those worn in motocross or equestrian activities, but those tests do not simulate impacts in a manner that truly mimics the rotational acceleration that can be experienced by hockey players.”
A recent story in Concussion Litigation Reporter took an extensive look at how mouth guard maker Brain-Pad, Inc. found itself at the center of a case involving the Federal Trade Commission, consumer complaints, and a tough punishment for making false claims about the safety benefits of its mouth guards.
Brain-Pad was claiming that the mouth guard “creates new brain safety space” and “reduces risk of concussions from lower jaw impacts.” It also advertised the product as “tested and proven to reduce risk of internal head injuries and concussions from lower jaw impacts” and “biochemically tested & proven.”
These claims caught the attention of David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Mouth guards can help to shield a person’s teeth from being injured, and some can reduce impact to the lower jaw,” he said. “But it’s a big leap to say these devices can also reduce the risk of concussions. The scientific evidence to make that claim just isn’t adequate.”
The article went on to quote a half-dozen legal experts about the significance of the development and what it means for the countless other concussion product manufacturers going forward. As bonus coverage, we wanted to share some bonus coverage on the blog.
“The FTC order was not harsh with respect to penalties sought, but does place an onerous burden for Brain-Pad to make future claims,” said Cal Burnton, a partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer in Chicago.
“It was not harsh with respect to the penalty. The FTC has authority of impose civil penalties, consumer redress, and other monetary remedies. These penalties can run from thousands to millions of dollars. Here, the FTC has challenged the claims of Brain-Pad that its product reduces the risk of concussions, and asserted that there is no reasonable basis to make these assertions, and that in fact, the scientific studies do not establish that the mouth guards reduce the risk of concussions. Rather than seek any type of fine or forfeiture, however, the FTC resolved the matter by simply enjoining Brain-Pad from making future claims without scientific studies to back up the claims.
“It was harsh in that the FTC now requires Brain Pad for the next 20 years in order to make product safety claims to have competent and reliable scientific evidence that has been conducted in an objective manner by qualified persons and are generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results. Brain Pad needs to have a sound, accepted and supportable scientific basis to make any claim involving reduction of the risk of concussions and its products. Failure to have what is recognized as generally accepted science to support its claims will be deemed a violation of the consent decree. Controversial evidence will not be sufficient. The particular health claim must be one that is accepted generally and supported by the weight of scientific evidence.”