Jury: Helmet maker is liable for football player's brain injury

Jury: Helmet maker is liable for football player's brain injury

Nearly five years ago, teenage boy went to football practice like thousands of others had done. Like many football players, the teen took a blow to the head during practice. He suffered a concussion, also called a mild traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, the teenager was not taken to the hospital for immediate treatment. As a result, he suffered severe brain damage and is paralyzed on one side of his body.

As a result of the boy's serious and preventable injuries, his family sued several high school administrators and football coaches and helmet maker Riddell. Recently, family members found a measure of justice. A jury awarded them $11.5 million for the boy's injuries.

In this case, the jury found that Riddell was negligent because it failed to warn players about concussion dangers. It found that the company was 27 percent at fault, which would make the company responsible for $3.1 million of the damages the jury awarded to the plaintiffs. Jurors did not find that the helmets were defectively designed. The company said it plans to appeal the verdict. The family's attorney, meanwhile, said he plans to ask the judge to order the company to pay the entire amount of damages.

Previously, three defendants settled the case for confidential amounts. Two coaches are still defendants in the lawsuit.

The verdict comes at a time when the safety of football is being called into question. A similar lawsuit is pending in Los Angeles, and thousands of former professional players have filed a lawsuit against Riddell and the National Football League.

Source: Source: The Associated Press, Colorado Jury Finds Helmet Maker Ridell Negligent, Catherine Tsai, April 14, 2013

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