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SD School District to Pay $4.4 Mil over Football Injury

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by rocketsjudoka, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    This makes me uneasy as a coach of a violent sport, Judo, that my school, organization or I could end up in a lawsuit over a player injury. I try to emphasize safety as much as I can but like football there is always an inherent risk to major injury and have had players suffer concussions.

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2...ct-to-pay-44-million-for-football-head-injury

    San Diego-area school district to pay $4.4 million for football head injury
    By NBC News and news services

    SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego-area school district has agreed to pay a $4.4 million settlement to a man who suffered a head injury playing high school football and now must communicate through a keyboard.

    The agreement announced Friday comes as the problem of head injuries in football has gained prominence due to lawsuits brought against the National Football League by former players complaining of ongoing life struggles from concussions.

    Scott Eveland, now 22, was a senior and a linebacker with the Mission Hills High School Grizzlies in San Marcos, a town 30 miles north of San Diego.
    He collapsed on the sidelines after playing the first half of a game on Sept. 14, 2007, and was rushed to the hospital where doctors were able to save his life by removing part of his skull. But the heavy bleeding inside his brain caused him extensive damage.

    "We are very pleased we were able to get that settlement because it gives Scotty a safety net," said his attorney David Casey Jr.

    The San Marcos Unified School District, which oversees the school Eveland attended, did not admit any responsibility in the settlement. "Scott Eveland and his family agree that this settlement does not suggest that the professional and hard working coaches, athletic trainers, administrators and staff of the Mission Hills High School intentionally contributed to the unfortunate and tragic accident that occurred during a high school football game," the district and attorneys for Eveland said in a joint statement on Friday.

    Due to the head injury, Eveland is confined to a wheelchair and he cannot stand or speak, said his principal attorney, Robert Francavilla.

    He communicates through an iPad or a specially designed keyboard, and someone must support his arm at the elbow so he can do that, Francavilla said.

    Earlier this year, more than 20 concussion-related lawsuits brought since August by former players against the NFL were consolidated in federal court in Philadelphia.

    The NFL has recently faced a mounting number of suits by former players who contend they suffer long-term effects from head injuries. League officials have sought to crack down on helmet-to-helmet hits, and in 2010 the NFL created a committee to try to prevent and better manage concussions.

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    Eveland's mother, Diane Luth, sued the district for what happened to her son in September 2007.

    "The care that we have to give Scotty, it's something I would not wish on any person, anybody's family," Luth told NBCSanDiego in a 2010 interview.

    A former student claimed the team's head coach ignored signs that Scott was in distress.

    According to a deposition obtained by NBCSanDiego, an assistant student trainer, Breanna Bingen, said warning signs about Scott's condition were ignored.

    In the deposition, Bingen said that a week before the injury, Scott complained to the team's athletic trainer about having headaches, which caused Scott to miss certain parts of practice.

    Bingen also said that just a few minutes before the game, Scott asked if he could sit out the first quarter because his head was hurting, but Bingen claims Coach Chris Hauser refused to take him out.

    Reuters and NBCSanDiego contributed to this story.
     
  2. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    I dont think the issue is the chance of injury. You can't really sue over that. The issue is that many coaches and trainers (particularly at lower levels) just aren't trained to recognize concussions and other head injuries properly. The science behind all of this is advancing so rapidly and school districts and other governing bodies havent invested enough in educating athletic personnel.

    The plaintiff's complaint was that the coach and training staff was negligent by ignoring signs that he had a concussion.

    I do wish part of the settlement forced the school district to spend money on educating athletic staff in the school district on how to recognize head injuries.
     
  3. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    Or rather some coaches underestimate the grave consequences of a concussion and just put players back on the field anyway.
     
  4. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Yeah, once the player asked to sit out and said he was in pain; coach should have had him talking to the team doctor. Even before then, coaches need to try and observe kids' conditions after big hits or just after every two or three possessions and check them out. Obviously these guys typically get paid six figures to win as much as possible and can get fired at the drop of a hat, but winning is just completely meaningless: and not even sentimentally, just from a liability standpoint.
     
  5. hotballa

    hotballa Contributing Member

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    They made me sign a waiver before they'd let me play high school football. Feel bad for the handicapped guy, but football is a violent sport and something like that can happen at anytime...just look at Dennis Byrd. Also am I misreading the article or is there no mention of what caused him to have the headaches in the first place? I'm assuming he had a concussion the week before the incident, but there is no mention of it other than a reference to headaches.
     
  6. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    This is the most important part. The risks are there, but schools need to be trained on how to handle a common situation.
     
  7. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    The guy is going to need care for the rest of his life. 4 mil should hopefully cover it. These stupid ass coaches need to realize its high school football, and have some sense. But most of these football coaches are ex players and a some of them are just stupid.
     
  8. hotballa

    hotballa Contributing Member

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    im not arguing that he needs major care for the rest of his life. all im saying is everyone knows the risks of playing football. kinda like suing the bungee jumping operator if you get whiplash
     
  9. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    Agreed. As I read the article I was steamed that someone would extort a school district for a sports injury. Then I read that part and did a total 180. If true, that makes me sick for that kid's family.
     
  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    In Minnesota state law mandates that every coach and referee for youth sports has to go through concussion training using the CDC's concussion program. As someone who is both I completed my training a few months ago. In my sport concussions have become a big issue and am always on the lookout for symptoms of one. There also isn't anywhere near the money or pressure to win in Judo as there are in other sports so I am not pressed to rush kids back into competition.

    Still I worry that just with the violent nature of the sport and the litiginous of society that something could happen where I end up in court even taking every possible precaution. It makes me wonder if at some point the liability gets so bad that youth sports with the level of violence like football, martial arts and etc will disappear.
     
  11. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    You just have to change your attitude a little bit and make sure that kids sit out as soon as there is any sign of negative health conditions. No more "man up and get back in there."

    As someone who loved football growing up, I don't know if I'm going to let my son play. I know too many friends that have physical conditions that still effect them into their forties like jacked up knees.
     

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