Gulf Breeze News discussed a new brain injury lawsuit this week. The suit was filed by a mother on behalf of her son who suffered brain injuries while playing youth football. The lawsuit names both the sports association which sponsored the football game and the makers of the football helmet, Riddell. According to those documents filed with the court, the mother claims that the helmet that her son was wearing was defective and that the association responsible for checking the equipment’s safety failed to do so, leading to his injury.
The 14-year old victim was in eighth grade when he was playing the game late one summer a few years ago. Apparently the boy was in the middle of a kickoff return-where players from both sides are running full speed at one another-when he took at particularly vicious hit from an opposing player running at top speed. The boy was slow to get up, but he eventually made it back to the sidelines. However, as soon as he got there his head began to ache. He took off his helmet and should pads and lay on the sidelines. The boy explained, “Everything got blurry. My headache was 100 times worse than any headache I’ve ever had.”
It wasn’t long before coaches and parents realized the boy was in serious trouble. An ambulance was called and he was rushed to the hospital where he underwent immediate surgery. Doctors discovered that the boy brain’s had shifted to the left causing it to hit the side of his skull. This led to bleeding on the brain. The child ultimately required removal of part of his skull to relieve swelling and the insertion of tube to drain blood. The child was fortunate to have survived the traumatic brain injury, but he didn’t end up unscathed. He faces a lifetime of disability which will result in physical impairment and mental problems.
After seeking out legal help to understand exactly what happened, investigations have revealed, claim the family, that the helmet did not provide sufficient support and protection. The lawsuit alleges that the interior lining of the helmet was supposed to inflate to prevent serious contact, but that inflation did not occur as designed. Questions are also being raised about the overall design of manufacturing process for the helmet, which the family alleges contributed to the harm.
Our Chicago brain injury lawyers have written extensively about sports-related brain injuries over the past few months. Hopefully the increased nationwide awareness of these issues will help to ensure reasonable steps are taken by those in a position to do so to prevent harm to young athletes. Illinois brain injury lawsuits are appropriate in these contexts when parents or other involved parties believe that others failed to take reasonable steps which could have prevented serious harm to an athlete.
This case-of defective equipment-is one common way that an injury can occur because of negligence. Another of the most basic mistakes might be the failure to recognize that a child is injured and needs to come out of a game and rest. Second impacts to the head following a concussion that has not properly healed can be particularly damaging. All those running these leagues must be aware of that risk and guard against it properly.
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