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Football player files brain injury lawsuit against his school district

Post-gazette.com recently reported about a lawsuit that was filed by a former high school football player who suffered brain injuries following numerous collisions on the field. Zachary Alt, now 19 years old, sued his school district alleging that his coach and trainer negligently sent him back into games after he was seriously struck in the head on multiple occasions during football games. The young man was 15 years old at the time of the events complained of in his lawsuit.

The lawsuit further alleges that because of the head injuries Zachary suffered, he now experiences hot flashes, depression, insomnia, nausea, dry heaves and vomiting. The complaint also seeks monetary damages for Zachary’s loss of ability to work an 8 hour day. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys are familiar with lawsuits stemming from football and other sports related injuries.

The impact these types of injuries can leave on young high school players has been a topic of concern over the years. The main concern is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. CTE occurs as a result of repeated head injuries, including concussions, over an extended period of time. The consequences of CTE include various mood disorders, paranoia, erratic behavior, memory loss and aggression.

A recent study conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that an estimated 5.25 million football-related injuries among children and adolescents between 6 and 17 years of age were treated in U.S. emergency departments between 1990 and 2007. The annual number of football-related injuries increased 27 percent during the 18-year study period, jumping from 274,094 in 1990 to 346,772 in 2007.

While football is a contact sport and hard hitting is part of the game, there are certain precautions that schools must take to ensure the highest level of health for their young players. One important factor is simply taking the injuries seriously. If a student athlete is hit hard and takes too long to get off the ground, experiences dizziness or disorientation, or stumbles after taking the hit, the coaches or trainers must recognize that this player requires medical attention as they may have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Zachary’s lawsuit centers on the fact that he was sent back into games on three separate occasions following such hard contact.

Our Chicago brain injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are experienced in understanding the legal issues following these types of injuries. If your loved one has suffered a sports related injury, please contact one of our attorneys today for a free case consultation to discuss your legal options.

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