Football has always been considered a dangerous sport, but recent studies, data, and medical information is now shedding light on just how dangerous the sport is – and the victims of are looking to hold certain parties liable for their role in the injuries.
Earlier this month, a Colorado jury found that Riddell, the country’s largest football helmet manufacturer, was liable for head injuries that players suffered while playing the sport. Specifically, the jury found that the helmet maker had failed to warn players who wore their football helmets about the long-lasting dangers of potential concussions.
According to the New York Times, Riddell must pay $3.1 million to Rhett Ridolfi, 22-year-old man who sustained a head injury and was paralyzed on the left side of his body during a high school football drill in 2008. A total of $11.5 million in damages were awarded to Ridolfi, of which Riddell’s liability constitutes 27 percent. Several of Ridolfi’s coaches were also found to be negligent, but the jury rejected claims that the helmet contained design defects.
The verdict will likely have a significant impact on similar cases pending throughout the country, including a similar case set to begin shortly in Los Angeles and a lawsuit filed by more than 4,000 retired NFL players against the NFL and Riddell.
Not only can football result in immediate head injuries, but repeated head injuries can also result in medical problems that don’t show up until years down the road. As we reported, a study recently presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting showed that the effects of playing professional football can pose a significant threat to the player’s overall mental health later in life. According to US News & World Report, the research found that brain damage sustained during their football careers makes former players more likely to show symptoms of depression later in life than the general population.
Head injuries, including concussions, are a serious medical condition that should not be overlooked or understated. An athlete who suffers a concussion is up to four times more likely to sustain a second concussion, according to neurologists. When a football player returns to play before he has fully recovered from the initial concussion, the athlete is at serious risk for second impact syndrome (SIS). SIS can result in massive swelling of the brain and, in some cases, may lead to a loss of blood flow to the brain, which can place the athletes at an increased risk for learning difficulties and other neuropsychological difficulties.
If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury, contact the Chicago head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible cause of action to obtain compensation for your head injury.