One 17-year-old high school student had a life not that different from many other high school football players in Alabama. However, this football player's end is far more tragic than most, but sadly no longer becoming a rare exception. A serious hit to the head in a game in 2008, and delayed treatment both condemned this young man to not only have to give up football, but work to accommodate a life in which he now suffers with serious brain injuries, and paralysis along his left side.
There has been a huge increase with regards to media attention in the last few years around the consequences of high-impact sports like football. The risk of brain injury from repeated blows to the head and untreated concussions is becoming better understood as more information is uncovered. This ongoing investigation is calling many to question whether helmet makers and coaches are aptly protecting and warning players of all ages.
The family of the now-22-year-old that suffered the catastrophic football injuries in 2008 filed a lawsuit alleging high school administrators, coaches and the helmet maker, Riddell, liable for this young man's life-altering injuries.
A jury recently found that Riddell was 27 percent responsible for the injuries this young man suffered because the helmet maker failed to properly warn helmet users against the grave risks associated with concussions. Accordingly, Riddle has been ordered by a jury to pay $3.1 million in damages, which the helmet maker reportedly plans on appealing.
There are thousands of additional complaints against Riddell by other injured, former NFL players that feel they were not aptly warned either. The outcome of those complaints, and any possible monetary damage awards remain to be seen.
Injuries of this nature not only change a victim's life, but are expensive and require extensive medical care. While compensation will not reverse the injuries, compensation is the best avenue to address the medical needs and lifestyle changes associated with injuries of a related nature in Alabama.
Source: The Associated Press, "Colorado jury finds helmet maker Riddell negligent," Catherine Tsai, April 14, 2013