Tag Archives: return to play protocol

February Conussion Litigation Reporter Features Ten Important Stories

What follows is the Table of Contents for the February Concussion Litigation Reporter:

February 2016, Vol. 4, 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.


  • Hockey Fighter Derek Boogaard Runs Aground on §301 of the LMRA in Concussion-Related Claim
  • Study, Boycott Brings Focus Back to the Risk of Concussion Associated with Synthetic Fields
  • The NFL Concussion Settlement and the Ethics of Informed Choice
  • New Mexico Lawmakers Scurry to Close ‘Loophole’ that Allowed Parents to Circumvent Concussion Protocol
  • Ontario Introduces Legislation to Establish Concussions Advisory Committee
  • Concussions in Water Polo Continues to be a Significant issue
  • Injured Fan Claims NASCAR Does Not Adequately Protect Spectators, Sues for Damages Relating to Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Retired Players Urge Court to Continue Discovery in NHL Concussion Suit
  • NCAA’s Hainline Talks Concussions and Unresolved Questions
  • Reaction to NCAA’s Concussion Measure

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Federal Judge Backs School and Coach in Concussion Lawsuit

A federal judge has granted summary judgment to a school district and its coach, who were sued for negligence after one of their student athletes suffered a concussion and was re-inserted back in the game.

In so ruling, the court held the defendants to “a recklessness or intentional conduct standard of care for the actions.”girls basketball

The plaintiff was a student and athlete on a varsity women’s high school basketball team. On January 4, 2011, the team played a game against a neighboring school. During the second half of the game, she was struck in the front of the head by an opponent. The coach called a timeout.

The plaintiff told the coach that she was dizzy, that her eyes were blurry, and that she needed to sit down. She sat on the bench for approximately five minutes, during which time the plaintiff alleges that she exhibited signs of a concussion and acted out of character. The coach asked the plaintiff whether she was ready to return to the game. The plaintiff re-entered the game. During one play, she lost her balance and alleges that she felt disoriented, according to the complaint. Sometime thereafter, the plaintiff was struck in the head a second time by a player on the other team. The plaintiff asked to be removed from the game. The coach removed her and did not put her back in for the remainder of the game. The plaintiff alleged that she suffered a concussion and other injuries.

The plaintiff alleged that the coach was aware of the symptoms of head injuries and concussions and had received “training and education in the prevention, recognition, and treatment of head injuries.” The plaintiff also alleged that the coach was aware that protocol required that athletes exhibiting symptoms of a concussion could not return to play before being evaluated by an athletic trainer or physician. In addition, she charged that the coach was charged with “protecting his players from injury as much as possible.”

She sued the coach and school for negligence. The defendants moved for summary judgment. (To get the details on this case and read the full summary, visit: https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/concussion-litigation-reporter/)

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The NBA Institutes Concussion Protocol

After announcing in March that it was considering establishing a concussion policy, the NBA has enacted new protocol that determines when players can return from head injuries.

If a player is diagnosed with a concussion, he will have to complete a series of steps to confirm that he’s healthy enough for competition. Once he is symptom free, the player must make it through increasing stages of exertion- moving from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills- while ensuring the symptoms don’t return after each one. Then the neurologist hired to lead the NBA’s concussion program will be consulted before the player is cleared.

Before the opening of preseason games, each player will undergo baseline testing. Players and coaches will also take part in annual training and will be required to sign acknowledgment forms that they understand the importance of reporting symptoms.

Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan, will serve as director of the NBA’s concussion program.

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