Helmets are worn to protect your head during recreational sports and professional sports like football and hockey, and even baseball when batting. Race car drivers wear them, as well as jockeys for horse racing. Catastrophic head injuries can result from helmet failure during other sports, like bicycling, Motocross, motorcycling, skateboarding, snowboarding, and skiing.
Since 2011 thousands of professional football players have sued the NFL and Riddell, claiming they were “aware of the evidence and the risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries … but deliberately ignored and actively concealed the information.” There are more and more athletes filing a TBI lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) as well. Both could prove to be just as substantial in terms of damages as the NFL lawsuits. Riddell Sports, Inc., the largest sports helmet manufacturer in the country, has been named in numerous football-related TBI lawsuits, from players in the NFL to young kids playing in Pop Warner leagues.
NFL Concussion Lawsuit
In April, 2015, the National Football League (NFL) and retired NFL players reached an agreement settling a class action concussion lawsuit in which thousands of retired NFL players accused the league of not warning players and hiding the dangers associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Judge Anita Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered a Final Order and Judgment approving the $1 billion settlement, which allows for payments up to $5 million for former NFL players suffering from neurological disorders during retirement. Critics of the settlement say it is not nearly enough to take care of some players who suffer the most, as the settlement only provides medical coverage to victims of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) who passed away between the years 2006 through 2014.
CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in those with a history of repetitive head trauma, including concussions and sub-concussive blows to the head that do not cause concussion symptoms. CTE is linked to dementia, memory loss, depression, confusion and aggression, all of which generally appear years or even decades after the trauma.
Some of the players involved in the class action opted out of the initial settlement in order to pursue individual cases against the NFL. Other players filed to appeal the settlement terms in August of 2015.
The settlement provides for the following:
- Baseline health examinations for retired NFL players.
- Financial awards for diagnoses of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and certain cases of CTE diagnosed after death.
- Education programs and initiatives aimed at improving football safety and TBI awareness.
All valid claims for injury among class members will be paid in full for 65 years.
NHL Concussion Lawsuit
Filed in November of 2013, the National Hockey League (NHL) concussion lawsuit echoes that of the NFL’s. Former NHL players allege that the league failed to warn them about the short and long term effects of repeated traumatic brain injuries and failed to care for them after they sustained head injuries, all while promoting and glorifying unnecessary violence that goes hand in hand with the sport.
The former NHL players claim that as a result of the league’s actions (and inactions), they are suffering from, or have an increased the risk of being diagnosed with serious brain diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and dementia, among others.
The class size as of December 2015 is nearly 100 former players.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Head injuries often occur as a result of preventable slips and falls, especially among children and senior citizens. Preventable accidents like these can happen due to unsafe or defective playground equipment, or hazardous steps or walk ways. If someone falls on a commercial property and suffers a TBI, they can file a TBI lawsuit against the property owners.
Defective products are a leading cause of head injuries in transportation accidents. Defective seatbelts occasionally fail to keep passengers safe in circumstances like aviation accidents, train crashes or roller coaster accidents. Additionally, many instances of airbags failing in car accidents have led to serious head injuries.
The cost associated with TBI is staggering. According to the CDC, the average annual cost of head injuries in this country amounts to roughly $76.5 billion per year (based on CDC data from 2000). This includes direct medical expenses like treatment and TBI rehabilitation as well as indirect expenses like loss of productivity.
Get Legal Help for Your TBI Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, skull fracture, spinal cord injury, paraplegia, quadriplegia, or other devastating injury due to a defective product or someone’s harmful actions or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a TBI attorney at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman to discuss your options. We are here to answer any legal questions you might have about the injury. We can also help our clients find the right treatment and rehabilitation services to meet their needs.
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman is a Los Angeles-based law firm that has represented plaintiffs from all over the country in thousands of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases stemming from traumatic brain injuries, transportation accidents, and pharmaceutical product liability. The firm is listed in US News & World Report and Best Lawyers® 2014 Best Law Firms, The Best Lawyers in America®, 2013 Top Ranked Law Firms™ published in Fortune, The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in American Law.