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 Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

December is Carbon Monoxide Safety Month It has no color….no taste…no smell. It doesn’t burn your eyes or cause people to cough. However, it can be deadly and is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S.

The poison? It is carbon monoxide or CO, a gas that kills by binding up the hemoglobin in the blood, reducing the body’s ability to carry oxygen to the brain and muscles. Death is related to both the level of CO as well as the duration of exposure. CO is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels (coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas) used in cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, houseboats, portable generators, furnaces, charcoal grills, small engines, salamanders, LP gas heaters, stoves, lanterns, fireplaces, portable flameless catalytic heaters, and gas ranges. Cars left running in attached garages even with the doors open, portable generators in basements vented to an open window or located outside next to a window, and charcoal grills inside tents or homes have all resulted in CO quickly building to lethal levels in enclosed spaces. People and animals can be poisoned. December is National Carbon Monoxide Safety Month. This is fitting as December and January are the peak months for CO poisoning, which results in the unintentional deaths of almost 500 people in the U.S. each year and is responsible for more than 20,000 emergency room visits and greater than 4000 hospitalizations.

Some who survives Carbon Monoxide exposure can face permanent neurological damage. CO affects people differently. Children and adults over 65 years with health problems are particularly vulnerable. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu and include headache, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and dizziness. These slower developing symptoms can result in death over-time if mistaken for other illnesses.

High level CO poisoning, usually develops rapidly and includes progressively more severe symptoms including mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, loss of consciousness and ultimately death. The use of generators in residential spaces can cause this type of high level CO exposure to happen resulting in victims going to sleep and not waking up. This happened to a 16 year-old Buffalo teenager who lost her life sleeping near a malfunctioning basement boiler while at a friend’s house for a sleepover.

Workers are also affected by carbon monoxide poisoning. Workplaces may be weather sealed in winter. While internal combustion machinery such as gasoline or diesel-powered forklifts, air compressors, telehandlers, generators, pressure washers, welding equipment and petroleum-fired machinery produce CO are still being used. Although cold weather and power outages increase the use of risky alternative heating and power sources, carbon monoxide poisoning is not just a winter or storm-related concern. In recent years cases of CO poisoning have also been associated with residential utility shutoffs. This scenario is most prevalent in economically depressed areas and low income household where power disconnection results in families using unsafe means to keep warm or run their refrigerators.


  • Purchase and install CO alarms. Test them regularly and change the batteries twice yearly. A good time to do this is when you change your clocks to adjust for daylight savings time.
    • Ensure that heating systems and appliances are installed and serviced annually by qualified professionals. Chimneys should be checked and cleaned, as needed. When renovating a home or repairing a roof, make sure that tarps or debris do not block vents and chimneys. • Ventilate….ventilate….ventilate. Make sure that all fuel-burning equipment is vented properly. Don’t patch vent pipes in your home, cabin, camper, boat, or workplace with tape or gum
    • Remove vehicles from a garage immediately after starting them, even if the garage door is open. If you open the tailgate on a running SUV or similar vehicle, open the vents/windows to ensure air flow and exchange. If only the tailgate is open, CO from the exhaust could be pulled into the vehicle.
    • Ensure that vehicle exhaust pipes are not blocked in or after a heavy snowstorm. Make sure vents for the furnace, stove, fireplace and dryer are clear of snow.
    • Only operate portable generators or other gasoline-powered equipment, including portable flameless catalytic heaters, OUTSIDE of a home, garage, basement or any enclosed or semi-enclosed space. Position them at least 20 feet from a window, door or vent.
    • Increase awareness of symptoms and causes. Many people do not know that certain equipment, such as generators, are dangerous and can produce deadly fumes.
    • If symptoms suggest CO poisoning, get to fresh air immediately and call 911.

The brain injury law firm of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP has represented victims of carbon monoxide exposure and can provide legal representation to you or your loved one if a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

November 21, 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 Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

DC Trial Lawyers Assoc. Brain Injury Symposium

I am honored to be presenting tomorrow at the Brain Injury Symposium sponsored by the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington DC at the Omni Shoreham Hotel beginning at 9 am.  My presentation will provide an overview of a brain injury case from the perspective of a brain injury trial attorney.  For further information, click here.

October 28, 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 Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

Implementing Brain Injury Services for School-Aged Children

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) will be conducting a webinar on implementing brain injury services for school-aged children on:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

3:00 p.m. eastern/12:00 p.m. (noon) pacific

Cindy Pahr, M.Ed., CBIST, San Diego Unified School District and EduCLIME, L.L.C.

The description provided by BIAA for this webinar is:

Implementing services for school-aged children with brain injuries can be challenging. Through this webinar, attendees will learn about the flow and determination of school placement in various educational settings; discuss strategies to address common challenges faced by students and families in the education setting post-injury; and will be introduced to lessons and activities used to help students assimilate back into their lives.

Click here for more information.

De Caro & Kaplen, LLP have been selected as Preferred Attorneys by the Brain Injury Association of America

September 8, 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 Lawyers and Law

Tractor Trailer and Bus Crashes lead to tragic injuries

Tractor-trailer bus collisions are among the worst that occur on busy American highways.  Because of the relative size of the two vehicles in such a collision, the injuries are catastrophic, often with deadly consequences.

It is essential for anyone injured in such a devastating collision to seek competent legal counsel immediately, to protect his or her rights and the rights of their entire family.   Too often people wait to retain counsel, believing that the owners of the bus and tractor-trailer companies will do the right thing.  In most cases, the transportation companies and their insurance carriers are at the scene looking for any loophole to escape responsibility.  This is why it is essential that victims of these horrific crashes hire the most experienced crash/collision personal injury lawyers to handle their case, attorneys with proven records of accomplishment.

At DeCaro and Kaplen, LLP, our partners have dedicated their lives to representing victims of bus and tractor-trailer crashes.  Most recently, our New York personal injury attorneys Shana De Caro and Michael Kaplen, in collaboration with New Jersey personal injury lawyers Robert Bratman and Michael Donahue of Stark and Stark, represented an Indian family in the United States for a summer vacation when their tour bus was involved in a violent crash on its way to Niagara Falls The bus left the roadway, rolled over and proceeded into the woods.  Our lawyers are founding members of the prestigious interstate bus accident litigation group. 

When the tour bus came to a stop, one member of the family was dead and two were seriously injured.  Our lawyers quickly filed suit and brought our combined knowledge and experience in this area of litigation to bear in hiring the leading experts in the field of bus and tractor-trailer crashes.  Even though these clients lived thousands of miles from the site of the crash and the location of the lawsuit, they were informed at all stages of the legal battle fought on their behalf in the American Courts.  Almost two years from the date of this tragic collision, justice was achieved for the Indian family in the form of a multimillion-dollar settlement. The perseverance of the attorneys at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP  and Stark and Stark combined as a matchless legal team.


Recent events involving tour bus crashes emphasize the need to retain competent legal counsel without delay,   For legal assistance contact the our bus crash attorneys toll free at    1 866 272 4652.  Further information on our firm can be obtained at  You can email us at





June 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

Congratulations to New York Personal Injury Lawyer, Shana De Caro

Congratulations to my partner, Shana De Caro who was selected as a Top Women Attorney in Metro New York as published in New York Times, March 2015

Shana is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America and the Board of Directors of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.  She has been named a New York Super Lawyer for the past two years by her peers.

Together our practice consists of representing individuals who have sustained severe personal injury and brain damage as a result of motor vehicle accidents, bus and truck collisions, construction site accidents, unsafe buildings, medical malpractice and hospital malpractice.

More information on our practice can be obtained at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP

De Caro super laywer plaque (3)

May 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack