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(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the January issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To see the full article, subscribe at https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)
A three-time Canadian Olympian has sued the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association (CFSA) and the doctor that cleared her, claiming the defendants were negligent when they allowed her to participate in a December 2013 training camp
Veronika Bauer, who won the 2001 world title as well as participated in the Olympic Games in 2002, 2006 and 2010, filed her claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia (B.C.).
Skiers in Bauer’s sport hit jumps at speeds of up to 60 km/h and launch themselves roughly 20 meters in the air, where they perform somersaults and full-body twists before landing on a steep hill.
Bauer, represented by attorney Alex Sayn-Wittgenstein, alleged in her complaint that she suffered a concussion in 2009 and was sidelined with post-concussion symptoms for almost a year leading up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
“I just felt spaced out,” Bauer told the media in January 2010. “I was just incapable of doing simple chores. I just sat around bored on the couch. I just couldn’t do the things that keep you alive. I pretty much had a headache the entire time.”
Bauer then suffered another concussion in 2012 at Apex Mountain near Penticton, B.C. The next year, she allegedly received medical clearance from Dr. Jeffery Purkis and the CFSA to return to action at a training camp. She allegedly experienced another concussion. As a result, she claimed that she suffers “severe and continuing concussion symptoms.”
According to the complaint, “the plaintiff … (for the full summary, visit https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/ to subscribe)
A federal judge has recently ruled for a defendant in a case in which a student athlete sued his high school and his school district, claiming the coaching staff was negligent in their handling of the multiple concussions he suffered while participating on the football team.
The student athlete in the case, who was born in 1995, played basketball and football during his sophomore year at the high school. He completed both seasons without suffering any injuries.
Late in the spring, however, he participated in spring football at the school under the direction of the head coach. He suffered a concussion. In the fall, he suffered another concussion, the handling of that concussion led to the law suit.
This judicial opinion will be fully summarized in the upcoming April issue of Concussion Litigation Alert, which publishes on Thursday.
In case you didn’t see it, here is the “open letter” that journalist Jeff Pearlman (www.jeffpearlman.com) wrote to Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker in light of the multiple concussions he has suffered this fall:
“I am writing you this letter. I know you’re not reading it, so perhaps the whole exercise is pointless. Still, I’ll give it a go.
“Earlier today, in a win against the Tennessee Titans, you suffered a concussion—your second of the season, your—what?—eighth … ninth … 10th of your career. You keep coming back, and coming back, and coming back, and the analysts and color commentators routinely praise your courage and toughness.
“Well, I don’t think you’re courageous. Or tough. I think you’re fucking stupid.
“Wes, have you not been paying attention to the news on CTE and concussions and the hundreds upon hundreds of former NFL players who can’t remember their names; who wind up in assisted living communities, drinking strained peas through a straw? I’m being 100-percent serious here. These men, like you, believed in the bullshit machismo code of the NFL, which dictates one plays hard and plays all the time—physical and mental damage be damned. These man, like you, had their bells rung repeatedly, yet tried their best to hide said information from team doctors (if the team doctors even really cared—which, oftentimes, they didn’t).
“Wes, you’re a young guy, and you need to retire right now. You need to stop showing up for practices and stop showing up for games. You can slink away, you can hold a press conference—it matters not. But you absolutely, positively need to end this nonsense ASAP.
“You don’t know me. I’m a nobody in your life—and, perhaps, that’s the point. Do you think the Denver Broncos want you to retire? Do you think John Elway and Peyton Manning want you to retire? Do you think your coaches want you to retire? How about your friends from back home … the ones who brag every time you appear on TV? Answer: No. They all cling to your career. They all want/need it to continue—for themselves, for their egos, for their wallets. I’m just a writer. One who has grown tired of telling the same ol’ story about the same ol’ NFL retirees lost in the depths of hell.
“Wes, next week’s big game isn’t that big. The Super Bowl isn’t that important—they played one last year, they’ll play one next year. What’s important is your health, and your family, and your kids having a father of full mind and mental capacity.
“Stop this. Really—just stop.”