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

Proposed NFL settlement a bad deal for players, says attorney specializing in brain injury

Listen to my interview on The Pulse discussing the unfairness of the NFL Settlement.

November 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

The NFL Settlement Hearing-We have some problems Houston

When Judge Brody , 15 minutes into the initial presentation of the terms of the settlement and why it was such a good deal interrupted that attorney for the NFL to ask what he meant when he used the term, “TBI” I knew that the 20,000 players who this settlement was supposed to be about were in big time trouble.

I can go on and on about how disgusted I was in listening to the class action attorneys describe what a great job they did and what a terrible case this was except I have to pause to ask the question, if it was such a bad case why was the NFL willing to cough up close to a billion dollars?

In the end, I am saddened to say that this settlement will be approved and the odds of ever getting to the truth of what the NFL knew and when they knew it will never be revealed.

You can read more of my thoughts  Brain Injury Attorney Slams Settlement

November 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Events

Jim McMahon and Jeremy Roenick Launch Players Against Concussions (PAC) Foundation To Support Concussion Awareness and Prevention—Kickoff event scheduled for Monday, October 6th in Westchester, New York

Players Against Concussions (PAC) is a new nonprofit organization founded by Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and NHL All-Star Jeremy Roenick with the goal of preserving sports while making them safer

The PAC mission begins on Monday, October 6th, when celebrities and professional athletes from across the country converge on the Pelham Country Club in Westchester, New York to participate in the First Annual Players Against Concussions Golf Outing.

A morning brunch and press conference is scheduled from from 10am – Noon, followed by an afternoon round of golf, and will conclude with a cocktail hour and dinner beginning at 5pm.

“This is a deeply personal issue for me as both a player and a parent,” said McMahon. “I loved every minute of the football I played as a kid and during my professional career, but I’ve also felt the effects of the concussions I suffered on the field. I’ve seen the lasting effects on teammates and friends, and now I see the statistics that point toward an epidemic of concussions among young athletes. The idea that kids are sustaining head injuries that have the potential to cause permanent, lifelong damage is just unacceptable. We know many of these injuries are preventable, and in terms of protection, we know we can do better through research and innovation. The goal of PAC is to keep athletes of all ages playing the sports they love, but without having to risk the lifelong, debilitating effects of head injuries.”

For more information on PAC, or to request RSVP for the October 6th Players Against Concussions Golf Outing, please contact Mark Ballard or Sabrina Levine at 212-680-0179 or email

October 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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