A class action lawsuit was filed in Illinois on the issue of concussions suffered by high school football players. The suit was filed against the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) alleging that the injuries suffered while playing football in high school have left one former player with migraines and memory loss.
The class action claims that the IHSA lacks clear guidance on managing concussions suffered by high school athletes and guidance on concussions and head injuries that occur during practice, and how concussions should be handled in those situations.
Similar lawsuits have been filed against the NFL and NCAA football, as more becomes know about the dangers and frequency of concussions for all athletes. Some research suggests that dozens of concussions that many players suffer can eventually lead to serious, traumatic brain injuries that can lead to health issues ranging from memory loss to erratic and destructive behavior.
Settlements in these types of cases can be complex, as the NFL case required a lifting of the damage cap for former-NFL players who have suffered injuries over the years. The effects of concussions can be catastrophic, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can lead to destructive behavior and suicide.
A purposed settlement in the NCAA case is being opposed by some who feel it is a “sell out” to the NCAA, because it does not do enough for players who have suffered injuries.
The risk for high school athletes is seen as particularly high, as their brains are still developing and concussions and brain injuries at that time can have a devastating effect for their future.
The attorney who has brought the lawsuit in Illinois wants to expand it to all states, and require all high school athletic associations to work to prevent concussions for these young athletes.
CNN.com, “Class-action lawsuit filed over high school football,” Sara Ganim, December 1, 2014