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

Frank Gifford and CTE : It's time that the NFL gets serious

Former professional football player and TV commentator Frank Gifford, who died in August at age 84, suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.  The only known cause of this condition is repetitive head trauma.  Gifford played in the NFL for 12 years and during that time suffered from repetitive head trauma.

“We as a family made the difficult decision to have his brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury,” Gifford’s family said in a statement released Wednesday.

Although all the details of Frank Gifford’s condition in the last years of his life are not known, the fact that CTE was found on autopsy adds further weight to the mounting evidence that football is a concussion delivery system causing permanent consequences to players.  The fact that Gifford and all players diagnosed with this condition past the settlement date in the NFL class action concussion litigation is further proof that the settlement that was reached was unfair and needs to be rejected by the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals.   

The danger of CTE is something that the NFL can no longer hide from all ignore.  Players with this condition must be compensated and effective measures must be put in place to reduce to present and future players.  It’s time to end the double talk of the NFL and get serious about head injury and brain damage.  

The family said it decided to disclose his condition “to honor Frank’s legacy of promoting player safety dating back to his involvement in the formation of the NFL Players Association in the 1950s.”

My partner, Shana De Caro and I authored the amicus brief on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of America arguing against the NFL settlement. We argued to the court that the settlement was junk science and was not a fair or balanced settlement for players suffering from brain damage.

For more information, read the story on ESPN: Hall of Fame player Frank Gifford suffered from CTE, family says.

November 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention

Concussion Legacy Foundation Awards Ceremony this Evening in Boston, Mass

I will be in Boston, Mass this evening attending the annual awards ceremony for the Concussion Legacy Foundation, formally known as the Sports Legacy Institute.  Foundation headed by Chris Nowinski has been instrumental in alerting the public to the dangers of concussion and brain damage in all sports; providing needed education on the signs and symptoms of concussions and most importantly leading efforts to keep players out when there is any suspicion of a concussion.  The group through their affiliation with Boston University also has led efforts to understand and appreciate the effects of cumulative brain trauma and its causation to a Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).  Keep up the great work!

November 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

CTE continues to haunt NFL

Public Broadcasting Network in their news show Front Line reveals new research strongly supporting link between CTE and repetitive head trauma

 Pleased to be interviewed on this important subject by International Business Times


September 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention, Current Affairs

NFL influences Sony in Production of Concussion Movie

The NY Times reports this evening that they have discovered Wiki leaks showing how the NFL pressured Sony to alter their upcoming film, Concussion which documents the discovery of the link between professional football and the development of CTE.  Rad the full article Sony Altered ‘Concussion’ Film to Deter N.F.L. Protests, Emails Show

Unless the NFL is placed under oath, the public will never know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about what the NFL knew and when they knew it.

September 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

NFL Concussion Litigation: Brain Injury Association of America Files Amicus Brief With Third Circuit Court of Appeals

My partner, Shana De Caro and I are honored to have submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) to the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals in the NFL concussion litigation explaining the science of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the misconceptions inherent and relied upon by the District Court in the settlement agreement.

We hope that the information and authorities we have provided will assist the Court in reexamining the settlement terms in proper context and set the agreement aside in the interest of all retired NFL football players who have sustained brain injury.

Founded in 1980, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is the oldest, largest, non-profit, nationwide brain injury, advocacy organization. As the leading advocate for all victims of brain injuries, BIAA has an interest in ensuring this settlement fairly considers all brain-injured players for whose benefit this action was commenced.   BIAA seeks to provide the Court with unbiased, accurate information regarding consequences of traumatic brain injury and protect the integrity of traumatic brain injury scientific research.

From the amicus brief submitted on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of America:

“The settlement neither recognizes nor compensates the majority of players suffering long-term consequences of brain trauma, but merely rewards certain, small, discrete groups.  The vast majority of retired football players experiencing physical, emotional, and behavioral impairments following repetitive concussions remain excluded and uncompensated under settlement terms.  In the interest of expediency, the District Court relied on self-serving submissions of counsel, which unjustifiably categorized the vast majority of brain injuries as not being “serious” or unrelated to repetitive head trauma, ignoring the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding the causes and ramifications of traumatic brain injury.” 


“The settlement, as approved by the District Court, is faulty in many respects, including but not limited to : 1- failure to consider subtle differences and distinctions of developing brain damage not immediately apparent; 2- omission of mild brain injury; 3- failure to compensate recognized physical, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive sequelae of concussion; 4- exclusion of well-recognized categories of presumptive brain injury; 5- failure to provide meaningful benefits for cognitive impairment; 6- arbitrary compensation distinctions based upon years of play and age; 7- implicit disregard of overwhelming medical evidence that one concussion can precipitate life-long consequences;  8- an illusory benefit failing to account for required Medicare and Medicaid lien offsets; 9- insurmountable neuropsychological testing criteria; 10- ignoring physical, emotional, and behavioral impairment undetectable by the settlement’s testing protocol; 11- overemphasis on malingering tests; and 12- failure to consider alternate testing modalities, such as diagnostic imaging.”

Shana De Caro, Esq. is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America and immediate past chair of the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.  Michael V. Kaplen, Esq. is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School teaching the only course on traumatic brain injury law in any US law school and past president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State. 

Shana and Michael are partners in the New York personal injury law firm, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP


August 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury and Sports

Concussions can have permanent consequences

A study published this week in JAMA Neurology – assessed the brains of 28 retired National Football League (NFL) players who suffered a concussion with loss of consciousness.

 The study took brain scans of the players and a control group.  The study authors found that the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved with memory was smaller in the athletes who suffered a concussion with loss of consciousness as compared to a control group.

Although an individual can sustain a concussion without any loss of consciousness, this study is an important finding regarding the long term consequences of a concussion where there is a documented loss of consciousness.

May 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

Team Physician: Legal Liability for Concussions and Brain Injury


I am honored to be able to address The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) 83rd Annual Scientific Meeting on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Washington, D.C.


I will address this prestigious group of neurosurgeons on their role and legal responsibility for concussion and brain injury upon assuming the role of a team physician for youth sports.


My presentation is part of a half day special session “Neurosurgeon Team Physician” designed to provide an introduction for practicing neurosurgeons to become involved in the care of athletes in their community. Presenters will discuss topics such as concussion diagnosis and management, pre-participation screening for neurologic conditions, sideline and game management, how to work with athletic trainers and other sports medicine providers and spine and peripheral nerve problems in athletes.


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 248,418 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in U.S. emergency departments (ED) for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI.  From 2001 to 2009, the rate of ED visits for sports and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries rose 57% among children (age 19 or younger).



April 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports

Approval of NFL Class Action Settlement by Federal Court-A Bad Deal for Players

You can put lipstick on a pig it's still a pig; you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change it's still going to stink after eight years.  That is the unfortunate truth concerning the approval of the NFL class action brain injury settlement.  Read some of my other comments in today’s edition of USA Today.




April 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

NY Times Editorial--Parents Need to Make Important Decisions When It Comes to the Risk of Head Injury and Brain Damage

Today's New York Times contains an important editorial on the silent dangers of concussions while engaged in any contact sport.

Here is a portion of that editorial:

Beyond the pro game, the decision by Mr. Borland to quit after one season to protect his health should be carefully noted by parents of the hundreds of thousands of youngsters eager to play each year at the peewee, high school and college levels. Research published in January in the medical journal Neurology found that former professionals who started playing before the age of 12 performed “significantly worse” in mental dexterity tests than those who began tackle football later, according to a study by the Boston University School of Medicine. Even in the absence of diagnosed concussions, high school players showed measurable brain changes after just a single season of tackle play, according to a separate study last December by the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

March 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports

Immediate Affects of Concussions Not Always Apparent

A new study published in  in the American Journal of Sports Medicine examines the performance of baseball players following their return to play after a concussion.  Concussions may linger among professional baseball players

March 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack