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

Traumatic Brain Injury Course at George Washington University Law School Featured in NY Times Article

This semester I had the privilege of teaching the first ever course on traumatic brain injury (TBI) law in a law school at The George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C.

The course reviewed the complicated issues that confront the legal profession in the framework of the civil justice system following traumatic brain injury, introducing students to the broad and wide-ranging legal implications of TBI in children and adults.

With the recent law suit and its potential settlement, new research on the long-term repercussions to returning service members after seemingly minor brain trauma, and constant stories in the news of children suffering traumatic brain injury playing sports, there is a burgeoning interest in concussions and brain injury.  In a variety of legal settings, the brain is being placed on trial with increasing frequency, encompassing multitude of civil issues that were reviewed in this thirteen week course.

For the past thirteen weeks we have delved into the legal problems that confront attorneys representing victims of brain trauma, both in and out of the courtroom. The course looks at brain injury from the practical view point of attorneys charged with the responsibility of assisting individuals suffering with a brain injury in a variety of situations such as contested court proceedings, educational issues, insurance benefits, and obtaining government benefits and services. We also explore legislative initiatives on concussion management; issues of liability following sports incurred brain injury; and evidentiary issues pertaining to the admissibility of expert testimony in a traumatic brain injury case.

Earlier this week, I was honored that the New York Times published an article describing the course and our mission to educate the next generation of attorneys. Concussion Cases Inspire New Course at George Washington’s Law School.

I will again be teaching this seminar at George Washington University Law School this fall.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

Webinair: Bullying and Harassment of Students with Disabilities in School

The Brain Injury Association of New York State is sponsoring a webinair, "Bullying and Harassment of Students with Disabilities in School" on Monday, March 31, 2014 from 1:00-2:15 pm EST

This workshop offers an overview of the laws that prohibit the bullying and harassment of students with disabilities, including guidance from the US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights and the Dignity for All Students Act.  The workshop will also discuss advocacy tips to address bullying and harassment in schools. 

Registration information: Reserve your webinar seat by March 30, 2014 by clicking here

For more information on the Brain Injury Association of New York, visit their website

 

March 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues, Current Affairs

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill-2014

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capital Hill.  I intend to partipate in the day's events to advocate on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families and look forward to you joining me.

Here is an updated schedule of the day's events:

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM              

Brain Injury Awareness Fair
First Floor Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building

2014 Exhibitors
Brain Injury Assoc. of America
American Association of Hyperbaric Awareness
BAE Systems
BrainLine
Brain Trauma Foundation
Centers for Disease Control
DVBIC/ DCoE
Kessler Foundation/Kessler Institute
NICoE
VA Office of Research and Development
VISTA Life Sciences
American Academy of Neurology
American College of Radiology
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
American Music Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Arms Forces
"@" Attention Fund
Assoc. of Rehab Nurses
Blinded Veterans
Bob Woodruff Foundation
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington
Brain Injury Services, Inc.
BrainScope
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Cheer USA
ConcussionWise
Disability Rights New Jersey
Disability Services Center, JBS International
Elder Hart
FITBIR
Gallant Few
Higher Ground
HRSA
International Brain Research Foundation
JFK Rehabilitation Center
MedStar National Rehab Hospital
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center
NASHIA
National Disability Rights Network
Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
NeuroVive Pharmaceuticals
New Jersey Brain Injury Association
NIH
Rehabilitation Specialists
ReMed
Rusk Rehab at NYU Lagone Medical Center
Team River Runner

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM                

Briefing: "Returning to Work: Making Headway After Brain Injury" 
Panelists
John O'Neill, Ph.D., CRC
Director, Employment and Disability Research
Kessler Foundation 

Dr. Grant Baldwin
Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control 

Dr. Jim Kelly
National Intrepid Center for Excellence
Walter Reed

Sgt. John Irwin
Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan
United States Army

Brian Nichols
Warrior to Work
Wounded Warrior Project

Daniel Chamberlain, JD 
Moderator
Brain Injury Association of America                                  

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Meeting Room South

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM    
Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Gold Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building

 

 

March 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues, Current Affairs

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill-2014

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capital Hill.  I intend to partipate in the day's events to advocate on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families and look forward to you joining me.

Here is an updated schedule of the day's events:

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM              

Brain Injury Awareness Fair
First Floor Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building

2014 Exhibitors
Brain Injury Assoc. of America
American Association of Hyperbaric Awareness
BAE Systems
BrainLine
Brain Trauma Foundation
Centers for Disease Control
DVBIC/ DCoE
Kessler Foundation/Kessler Institute
NICoE
VA Office of Research and Development
VISTA Life Sciences
American Academy of Neurology
American College of Radiology
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
American Music Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Arms Forces
"@" Attention Fund
Assoc. of Rehab Nurses
Blinded Veterans
Bob Woodruff Foundation
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington
Brain Injury Services, Inc.
BrainScope
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Cheer USA
ConcussionWise
Disability Rights New Jersey
Disability Services Center, JBS International
Elder Hart
FITBIR
Gallant Few
Higher Ground
HRSA
International Brain Research Foundation
JFK Rehabilitation Center
MedStar National Rehab Hospital
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center
NASHIA
National Disability Rights Network
Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
NeuroVive Pharmaceuticals
New Jersey Brain Injury Association
NIH
Rehabilitation Specialists
ReMed
Rusk Rehab at NYU Lagone Medical Center
Team River Runner

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM                

Briefing: "Returning to Work: Making Headway After Brain Injury" 
Panelists
John O'Neill, Ph.D., CRC
Director, Employment and Disability Research
Kessler Foundation 

Dr. Grant Baldwin
Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control 

Dr. Jim Kelly
National Intrepid Center for Excellence
Walter Reed

Sgt. John Irwin
Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan
United States Army

Brian Nichols
Warrior to Work
Wounded Warrior Project

Daniel Chamberlain, JD 
Moderator
Brain Injury Association of America                                  

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Meeting Room South

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM    
Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Gold Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building

 

 

March 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Publications, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Current Affairs

Workplace Flexibility Toolkit following a brain injury or other disability

Survivors of traumatic brain injury are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the work place.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy has released the Workplace Flexibility Toolkit, a collection of more than 170 resources for employees, employers, policymakers, and researchers. 

Workplace Flexibility enables individuals and business needs to be met through making changes in when, where and how an employee works.

The toolkit includes case studies, fact and tip sheets, issue briefs, reports, articles and links to web sites.  The toolkit can be accessed by clicking here

 

January 3, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues, Current Affairs

CDC webinair explores disability issues

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering a webcast: Public Health Grand Rounds: Where in health is disability? Public health practices to include people with disabilities

Time and Date: 
Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm (EST)

Overview:

Disability and health is the next topic at the CDC’s highly regarded Public Health Grand Rounds. The work of NCBDDD’s Division of Human Development and Disability and its network of partners (including the Ohio Disability and Health Program [ODHP] and other state grantees) will be featured through this broadly visible venue that reaches public health professionals, health care providers and others around the world that are interested in CDC’s work. 

To View the Live Webcast:

To view the live webcast on Dec. 18, please click here

Note: The webcast links are only active during the date and time of the session, but all sessions are archived for future viewing. Grand Rounds archives are found here

 

December 17, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Current Affairs, Medicare and Medicaid Information

Brain Injury Action Alert: Stop the Medicare Therapy Cap

The Brain Injury Association of America has just issued the following legislative alert that requires action on your part:

Congress has less than 30 days to extend the Medicare therapy cap exceptions process. In order to ensure your voice is heard on Capitol Hill, The Brain Injury Association of America is working with the Therapy Cap Coalition to promote awareness of the December 31st deadline.

TODAY every member of the coalition is activating its grassroots network, and asking its members to email or call their legislators. You can help by calling or emailing your Member and ask them to extend the exceptions process through 2013. Without Congressional action, a hard cap of $1900 will take effect January 1, 2013. It is vital that PROVIDERS AND PATIENTS take action! Flood Congress with emails and telephone calls TODAY!

MESSAGE: • Ask your legislators to extend the Medicare therapy cap exceptions process through 2013. • Emphasize the patient impact of letting a hard cap of $1900 take effect in 2013. For example: o For many people with brain injury, rehabilitation is the single most effective treatment to restore function and arrest. Individuals that sustain a brain injury will need physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Since no two brain injuries are the same one can not estimate the amount of therapy every individual will need therefore a cap on therapy will cause individuals to either forgo treatment or pay for it out of their own pockets.

 o Tell Congress that a hard therapy cap disproportionately impacts those patients who need treatment the most. The Brain Injury Association of America is working diligently with Congressional offices on Capitol Hill to develop a solution before year's end but TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

Please take five minutes and contact your legislators NOW. You can make a difference and help prevent a hard Medicare therapy cap of $1,900 from being implemented in 2013. To find your Representative's contact information click here or call 202-224-3121. To contact your Senator's click here or call 202-224-3121. If you have any questions please contact Amy Colberg at the Brain Injury Association of America. 

December 4, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Legislative News, Current Affairs

Exploring health care changes and their impact upon the brain injury community

Rarely does a day pass without some discussion about access to health care and health care reform. Whether it is Medicaid redesign, the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court decision, managed care, Medicare, Home health or health insuranceconfusion abounds. The questions and concerns are even more immediate for the brain injury community.

On Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 8:30 am to 1:00 PM the Brain Injury Association of New York State will present a program, "Brain Injury in the Community--Access to Services:The Changing Landscape" at the offices of OPWDD, First Floor Auditorim, 75 Morton Street, Manhattan, New York. I am pleased to be a panelist on this program discussing the future outlook for persons with a brain injury and their family members.

This program provides an opportunity for individuals with brain injury, family members, providers, and professionals to come together to learn about the health care changes on the horizon. This conference will address the impact these changes may have, and the challenges faced by the community moving forward.

Invited speakers are:

> Mark Kissinger
    Director, Division of Long Term Care, NYS Dept. of Health

> Mary S. Reitter, CAE
   
Executive Vice President & COO, Brain Injury Association of America

> Joseph Vollaro, PhD
   
President, RES Company, and Professor of Psychology, Suffolk County Com­munity College

> Michael V. Kaplen, Esq.
   
Partner, DeCaro & Kaplen LLP, and Chair, New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Coordinating Council

> Marie Cavallo. PhD
   
Associate Director, Adult Day Services, AHRC-NYC, and President, Brain In­jury Association of New York State

> Judith I. Avner, Esq.
   
Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of New York State

 > Helen Bibawy, CBIS
    
FACTS Coordinator, Brain Injury Association of New York State

To register on line, go to the brain injury association of new york state website. 

October 9, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Legislative News, Current Affairs

Brain Injury in a Prison Population

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released a study on the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among prisoners.  The study is based upon research of the prison population in South Carolina.

Not surprisingly, the results show a significant proportion of the prison population has suffered brain damage as a result of a traumatic brain injury.

Results: Sixty-five percent of male releases and nonreleases, and 72% and 73% of female releases and nonreleases, reported at least 1 TBI with an alteration of consciousness. Forty-two percent of male releases and 50% of nonreleases, and 50% of female releases and 33% of nonreleases, reported at least 1 TBI with loss of consciousness. Thirty-five percent of male releases and 42% of nonreleases, and 55% of female releases and 58% of nonreleases, reported ongoing symptoms from TBI.

The study concludes that, “a substantial proportion of prisoners reported having experienced a TBI during their lifetime. The ongoing TBI symptoms reported by prisoners may impact their success on release.”

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: May/June 2012 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p E11–E20.  Click here to read full article.  

September 4, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

Brain Injury Attorney Comments on the National Football League's (NFL) motion to dismiss concussion lawsuits

The National Football League (NFL) filed motion papers yesterday in Federal Court in Philadelphia, seeking to have the multiple lawsuits brought against the league for their fraudulent conduct in hiding the dangers of the risks of concussion dismissed.  The league argues that these lawsuits must be dismissed, not because the allegations in the complaint are inaccurate or untrue, but because of contractual collective bargainning agreements that govern the issues.

The fraud and lies perpetrated by the National Football League in their management of the epidemic of concussions in professional football needs to be exposed and remedied. Not only for the benefit of the NFL players, but more importantly for the thousands of children, who look to the NFL players as role models.

Medical science repudiated the misconception that concussions are not brain injuries more than 30 years ago.  Research has repeatedly confirmed that traumatic brain injury has cognitive, behavioral, social and emotional consequences. Yet, the NFL steadfastly continued to ignore the warnings and consequences of brain trauma despite these impartial findings.  The sad truth is that innocent children have been and are continually exposed to the danger of brain trauma because of the NFL’s misleading conduct.

The league fraudulently created the mild traumatic brain injury safety committee ostensibly to protect players.  The NFL has steadfastly refused to acknowledge the accumulated and overwhelming medical link between head trauma, concussions, and disability, in administering the league’s disability plan. Conspiring with their physicians, the league has engaged in a pattern of civil racketeering, wrongly depriving players’ of due process, and a full and fair opportunity to obtain disability benefits, including medical and rehabilitation care.          

The current wave of suits provide no redress for wrongful denial of disability benefits. Contract changes are vital to remove the disincentive for players to hide their symptoms. It is essential that concussion disabled players receive full contract and disability benefits to provide adequate compensation and provide optimum brain injury rehabilitation for retired and current players who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. 

The NFL must be compelled to reopen the files of players whose disability claims have been wrongfully denied and apply a fair set of standards to reevaluate these claims.

The current suits do not seek to redress the league's deliberate misconduct denying players' contract disability benefits, but rather aim to penalize the league for morally reprehensible conduct - failing to design safe concussion management protocol. Failure to acknowledge scientific evidence and institute proper return-to-play protocol is not equivalent to legal liability. The failure to fulfill the terms of a guaranteed benefit plan, however, does expose the league to liability.

The league continues to ignore the warnings and consequences of brain trauma despite these impartial findings. Players who deliberately ignore symptoms and knowingly assume the associated risks in exchange for short-lived glory must share in the responsibility for the current crisis. This bargain includes a long-term disability plan ostensibly intended to provide lifetime medical benefits and economic compensation. The league's intransigent and systematic denial of brain injury disability retirement applications precludes brain injured players from receiving these benefits.

Earlier this year, similar comments of mine were published in the New York Daily News, Lawyers assert NFL needs to do more to address needs of players who suffer concussions.  

 

 

August 31, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack