Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Current Affairs

Brain Injury Association of America files motion in federal court disputing the terms of NFL settlement

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) filed a motion today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking permission to appear as a friend of the court )amicus curiae to explain concerns it has with the proposed NFL brain injury settlement..

Similar to concerns raised by my partner, Shana De Caro who chairs the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Group and myself in our numerous op-ed pieces that have appeared on the Huffington Post and in the National Law Journal,  the Brain Injury Association believes that the settlement unfairly discriminates among different groups of players and fails to provide any compensation to the majority of NFL players who sustained life altering traumatic brain injuries as a result of playing professional football.

Following are some of the areas of concern noted in the affidavit filed in support of the motion to intervene:

•The settlement excludes numerous physical and behavioral consequences of brain injury from the list of qualifying diagnoses for treatment and compensation. A concussion results in a wide range of neurological, physical, cognitive, and neuropsychological impairments that can appear immediately or many years after injury, requiring specialized treatment on an ongoing or intermittent basis.

•The approach to diagnosing impairment is “deeply flawed” and will exclude many former players from receiving compensation. The determination of eligibility is heavily weighted towards those with severe memory dysfunction and/or evidence of neuromuscular abnormality. If a player has impairment in language or visual function, but not in executive function, learning or memory, he will not qualify.

•The downward adjustment of compensation based on the number of seasons played, the age of the player at the time of diagnosis, and incidence of stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI) prior to being admitted to the class, demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of concussion and mild TBI. A single concussion, whether diagnosed or not, can result in debilitating physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments that interfere with the activities of daily living and require a lifetime of treatment. Therefore, the nature and extent of the impairment – not the number of seasons played – should be the determining factor in any monetary award.

•The limitation of pharmacy vendors to mail order pharmacies. Some medications require distribution that controls for temperature, light, vibration, and other conditions and cannot be reliably distributed by mail order.  In addition, use of mail order prevents a physician from making quick and immediate medication changes.

 •The BAP Supplemental Benefits program fails to recognize the full extent of the treatment team that may be required. The standard of care for patients with TBI dictates that rehabilitation and other medical treatment plans are developed and carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of licensed, credentialed clinicians working in specialized settings and accredited programs. These include endocrinology, physical medicine, ophthalmology, neuro-optometry, otolaryngology, psychiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, and neurobehavioral therapy, among others.

 Copies of the motion and affidavit filed by BIAA can be obtained on their website.

 

September 30, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Broadcasts

NFL Concussion Crisis--PBS to rebroadcast League of Denial this tusday evening

FRONTLINE’S new season begins on September 30 at 10pm ET with League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis. With the NFL under fire in the news recently for its abysmal denial regarding its useless corporate guidelines on domestic violence, FRONTLINE will air a 90-minute rebroadcast of League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis. It is projected that more than 150 NFL players will suffer a concussion this NFL season.

September 27, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Prevention

How concussions are impacting our children-from the playing field to the classroom

The Minnesota Department of Health released a report on how concussions are impacting high-school athletes.

The report is based on data the Minnesota Department of Health collected from 36 Twin Cities-area schools during the last academic year. It estimates 3,000 high school athletes were concussed statewide last year.

That's 22 athletes suffering a concussion for every high school in Minnesota last year.

According to published reports, “Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says the research should be a signal to coaches and parents that concussions need to be taken seriously.”

"And we need a commitment from everyone on the team to make sure our athletes can compete safely, and when concussion does occur, we need to make sure the student athletes have the support of parents, teachers, coaches, and school nurses and clinicians in the community," he says.

According to the report, hockey and football players have the highest concussion rates

The study results are published in the September issue of Minnesota Medicine.

September 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

Legal discussion analyzing class action soccer lawsuit againt FILA

I will be participating tomorrow morning—Saturday, August 30th at 10:40 AM in a discussion on the class action lawsuit commenced against FIFA and US Soccer leagues for concussion injuries in youth soccer on "The Classroom" from the Marist College Center for Sports Communication.

I will be analyzing the claims made in this soccer case, the relief that the plainitff's are seeking and the legal arguments that I anticipate each side will be making.

1220 ESPN Radio and the Marist College Center for Sports Communication have launched a weekly sports radio program produced live from the Marist College campus, representing the nation’s first partnerships between an ESPN radio affiliate and an academic center on a college campus.

The program, named “The Classroom,” is heard on Saturday mornings on Fox1220, 95.7 and 94.1 ESPN Radio and live on the web at 10 a.m. to noon.  My segment is scheduled for 10:40 AM. 

To listen to the broadcase live, click here 

August 29, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports

Tracking concussions in college football

Al Jazeera America's flagship show, America Tonight will track all reported concussions in major college football this season. They have prepared a map which marks each reported player concussion which will be updated every week during the 2014 season (including the preseason).

As of yesterday, the map reports 9 concussions.  But this is only what is reported.  What about players who fail to report symptoms, teams that fail to report concussions, and concussions that are go on recognized?

For more information, click here

August 29, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention

Class Action Lawsuit Commenced by Parents for Soccer Concussions

A class action lawsuit was filed yesterday in US Federal District Court against the Federal of International Football Association (FIFA) and US Soccer leagues by parents seeking changes to the associations concussion management rules to prevent brain injuries from occurring.

The plaintiffs are not seeking financial compensation but changes to how the game is played.  They are seeing an injunction compelling the leagues to changes their rules regarding heading a soccer ball, when to remove a player from the game after a suspected concussion takes place, how long to keep the player out and educational requirements.  The lawsuit wants the league to any player under 14 from heading the ball.

I was interviewed for a story published in the New York Times, Concussion Lawsuit Bids to Force Rule Changes in Soccer regarding this lawsuit.   While I agree with the purported motivation for commencing this action, I have serious doubts whether the court can grant the plaintiffs the relief they demand.

 

The complaint is an excellent primer on the history of sports concussions, what was known and when it was known, the need for sports concussion management and the dangers faced by children who sustain a concussion while engaged in a sporting activity.  I am attaching the full complaint:  Download Soccer complaint

 

A concussion is a brain injury.  The best cure for a brain injury is prevention.  When in doubt, keep them out!

August 28, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Latest Medical News

The location of impact is not predictive of concussion outcome in football collisions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that annually, up to 3.8 million sport-related concussions occur in the United States.1 For adolescents and young adults, sports, such as football, account for a substantial proportion of these concussions.

There has been little research assessing the role of impact location on concussion outcome.  A recent study published online, August 14, 2014 in the Journal Pediatrics, Impact Locations and Concussion Outcomes in High School Football Player-to-Player Collisions, attempts to answer this question.

The study concluded that, “among high school football players who sustained concussions due to player-to-player collisions, concussion outcomes were generally independent of impact location.”

Pediatrics 2014;134:489–496

August 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts

Parent's Guide to Concussions-Free Webinar

The Brain Injury Association of New York State is offering a free Webinar, A Parent's Guide to Concussions in the Classroom on   Thursday, August 28, 2014 from 3:00-4:15 p.m. EST

Topics to include:

What to do when my child sustains a concussion?
What is the school district’s responsibility when a student is concussed?
Neurocognitive testing, what is it for?
Return to play protocols
Return to school protocols|
Available resources for managing a complex concussion

Click here to register

 

August 14, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports

New study of female middle school soccer players reports that concussion injuries are huge problem

Concussion rates in young female soccer players are greater than those reported in older age groups, and most of those concussed report playing with symptoms according to a study on the prevalence of concussions in female soccer players reported in this week’s issue of Journal of the American Medical Association entitled, Concussion and Female Middle School Athletes, JAMA.   Published online August 01, 2014

The study also found that heading the ball is a frequent precipitating event and that  awareness of recommendations to not play and seek medical attention is lacking for this age group.

The study found that among the 351 soccer players, there were 59 concussions with 43 742 athletic exposure hours. Cumulative concussion incidence was 13.0% per season, and the incidence rate was 1.2 per 1000 athletic exposure hours (95% CI, 0.9-1.6). Symptoms lasted a median of 4.0 days (mean, 9.4 days). Heading the ball accounted for 30.5% of concussions. Players with the following symptoms had a longer recover time than players without these symptoms: light sensitivity (16.0 vs 3.0 days, P = .001), emotional lability (15.0 vs 3.5 days, P = .002), noise sensitivity (12.0 vs 3.0 days, P = .004), memory loss (9.0 vs 4.0 days, P = .04), nausea (9.0 vs 3.0 days, P = .02), and concentration problems (7.0 vs 2.0 days, P = .02). Most players (58.6%) continued to play with symptoms, with almost half (44.1%) seeking medical attention.

You can access the full study by clicking here.

August 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News

Lead Off Speaker at American Association for Justice-Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group

On Sunday, July 27th, I will be the lead off speakier at the annual conference of the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group’s annual program to be held this year in Baltimore, Maryland.

My topic this year is entitled, From Concussion to the Classroom and Playing Field.  I will explore the many legal issues in recently enacted concussion management legislation, public health issues and additional steps that must be taken to protect our nation’s youth from the epidemic of traumatic brain injury in all sports.

Recent evidence points to over 250 million of our nation’s youth sustain some type of a traumatic brain injury each year while participating in athletic competition all athletic training.  Brain injury in sports is a public health crisis that must be approached from many different areas including education, prevention, return to play guidelines and legal liability when a preventable brain injury takes place.

The legal conference is a part of the four day conference sponsored each year by the nation’s largest trial lawyer association, the American Association for Justice.  The conference each year is attended by over 2,000 attorneys from across the nation.  The conference provides educational skills to attorneys on how to more effectively represent their clients following a personal injury.  

The traumatic brain injury litigation group is comprised of attorneys who have a special interest in the area of traumatic brain injury litigation.  I have been honored to have been a chair of this group and continue to serve on the group’s executive board. 

July 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack