It is well known that the National Football League (NFL) has been involved in lawsuits that involve head injuries to their players. Similarly, other leagues, including Georgia youth football leagues, may begin to see lawsuits based on the league’s failure to warn players and parents about the potential dangers of playing in the football league.
Many of the lawsuits filed against the NFL and other leagues in Georgia and around the U.S. are based on the link between participating in sports and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy(CTE) which is a disease that occurs due to repeated head injuries. The lawsuits allege that the league was aware of the potential dangers associated with CTE and participation in sports but failed to disclose those dangers. The lawsuits further allege that because the league did not disclose the potential risks to the players,, the league can be held liable.
In one particular lawsuit, the mother of a 25- year old young man who’d committed suicide alleged that her son suffered brain damage after he played in a youth league for four years. The autopsy of the young man showed he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and that because of the young man’s CTE, he suffered severe emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical issues. In addition, it is alleged that the CTE was a major factor in the young man committing suicide.
The lawsuit also alleges that the youth league knew about the potential risks to young children being greater than that of older players but failed to warn the players or their parents about the risks involved. The mother of the young man asked for $5 million in damages.The lawsuit settled for an unknown amount.
In another lawsuit against the same league, a young person was paralyzed while making a tackle in a football game. This lawsuit stated that they believed the league encouraged extremely dangerous head-first tackles and that the league knew these types of tackles were more likely to lead to head injuries.
The risk of sports related traumatic brain injuries is so great both in the NFL and in other leagues that Congress is considering legislation that sets new rules on the management of some sports related to traumatic brain injuries in an attempt to make high school sports safer.
One study suggests that up to 47% of all high school football players and approximately 140,000 high school athletes suffer concussions each year. While some people assume this is due to football injuries, it’s also related to other sports such as basketball.
In 2013, Georgia’s Return to Play Act made it state law that any child who is suspected to have had a concussion while participating in sports needs to be removed from the game, competition, tryout, and/or practice immediately. In addition, any child who has a concussion must have medical clearance from their doctor for a full or graduated return to play before being allowed to participate in the sport.
If your child has sustained a head or neck injury while participating in a Georgia sports activity, you should contact knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled Georgia personal injury attorney, Lashonda Council Rogers.