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Old 12-01-14, 04:35 PM
bluengold bluengold is offline
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High School Football Concussions - Illinois Lawsuit

Will be interesting to see if such actions spread ....

Concussion lawsuit filed against Illinois High School Association
http://usatodayhss.com/2014/concussi...s-daniel-bukal

After getting a preliminary settlement in a class-action concussion lawsuit against the NCAA, Chicago attorney Joe Siprut is taking the fight over lax concussion management to the Illinois High School Association.

Siprut filed a class-action complaint in circuit court in Cook County, Ill., on Saturday, the same day the IHSA is hosting state championships. Daniel Bukal, who quarterbacked Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Ill., from 1999 to 2003, is the named plaintiff on the complaint.

Combine a lack of resources at the high school level with the continued development of players’ brains in boys typically ages 14-19 and that creates a dangerous situation, Siprut said.

“I think if anything the issue at the high school level is more of a crisis than it is at the college level,” said Siprut, of Siprut PC. “I think the high school landscape is the next place this fight needs to be brought.”

In a statement released through the IHSA, the organization’s executive director, Marty Hickman, said: “The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) would like the spotlight to remain on the student-athletes, coaches and communities who have worked so hard to reach today’s state championship football games.

“We will review the contents of the lawsuit in the coming days and comment if and when it is appropriate. Student-athlete risk minimization, especially as it relates to concussion management in high school football, is and remains a top priority of the IHSA. We believe that the IHSA, in working with national partners like the NFHS, has and will continue to be a leader in this area.”

The IHSA, the complaint says, was derelict in its duties to protect athletes. In 2011, the state passed the “Protecting Our Student Athletes” Act, requiring education for athletes and their parents, mandating the removal of an athlete with concussion symptoms from a game or practice and requiring athletes be cleared by a health care professional before returning to competition. The IHSA also mandated this year that there be no tackling in summer practices and the state, with support from the IHSA, enacted a law that requires concussion education for all coaches.

The IHSA failed to properly address concussions before the 2011 act, the complaint argues, and still has fallen short since the law was passed. It points out that medical personnel are only required for games and not practices. While rules mandate players must be removed from a contest if they exhibit concussion symptoms, it does not address practices.

The IHSA also does not mandate baseline testing, concussion tracking or education for athletic trainers working with teams, the complaint says.

“The most important battle being waged on high school football fields across this State is not the competition to determine the winner and loser of a game, or even a State championship. It is the battle for the health and lives of the developing adolescents competing on those fields,” the complaint says. “It is now widely understood and acknowledged that concussions pose serious risks to participants in contact sports, and especially football. Among those risks are brain trauma and potentially debilitating long-term brain injuries. But if the problem of concussions in sports is a crisis, then it would be accurate to call the particular problem of concussions in high school sports an epidemic.”

In 2011, Siprut was the first to file a concussion lawsuit against the NCAA. That case, which was consolidated with many others in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, is currently awaiting approval of a preliminary settlement that the plaintiffs reached with the NCAA in July.

The lawsuit against the IHSA builds on that settlement. Like that case, this complaint seeks a change to policies and procedures as well as medical monitoring for members of the class, which it defines as current or former football players who competed for an IHSA member school from 2002 to present.

For Siprut, the case was a logical extension of the NCAA lawsuit or others filed against the NFL. Unless the sport is made safer, fewer parents will allow their sons to play it, Siprut argues.

“A lot of people are going to inevitably say what do you have against football? Why do you hate it? Why do you want to kill football?” he said. “It is not that. It is the exact opposite of that. Football will die in the next 20 years internally unless it becomes less dangerous.

“I don’t think this is an attack on football. I think this in harmony with the long-term health of the sport.”​

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High School Concussion Lawsuit Filed by Former Illinois Quarterback

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/1...n_6245374.html

December 1, 2014

A former high school quarterback followed in the steps of one-time pro and college players Saturday by suing a sports governing body – in this case the Illinois High School Association – saying it didn’t do enough to protect him from concussions when he played and still doesn’t do enough to protect current players.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Cook on the same day Illinois wrapped up its last high school football championship games, is the first instance in which legal action has been taken for former high school players as a whole against a group responsible for prep sports in a state. Such litigation could snowball, as similar suits targeting associations in other states are planned.

The lead plaintiff is Daniel Bukal, a star quarterback at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles until 2003. He received multiple concussions at the suburban Chicago school and, a decade on, still suffers frequent migraines and some memory loss, according to the 51-page suit. Bukal didn’t play beyond high school.

The IHSA did not have concussion protocols in place, putting Bukal and other high school players at risk, and those protocols remain deficient, the lawsuit alleges. It calls on the Bloomington-based IHSA to tighten its rules regarding head injuries at the 800 high schools it oversees. It doesn’t seek specific monetary damages.

“In Illinois high school football, responsibility – and, ultimately, fault – for the historically poor management of concussions begins with the IHSA,” the lawsuit states. It calls high school concussions “an epidemic” and says the “most important battle being waged on high school football fields … is the battle for the health and lives of” young players.

In a brief emailed statement, IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman said he wanted to keep the spotlight Saturday on the playoff finals. But he said concussion management is “a top priority” and that the IHSA “will continue to be a leader” in reducing head-injury risks.

Bukal’s Chicago-based attorney Joseph Siprut, who filed a similar lawsuit against the NCAA in 2011, provided an advance copy of the new lawsuit to The Associated Press. The college sports governing body agreed this year to settle the NCAA lawsuit, including by committing $70 million for a medical monitoring program to test athletes for brain trauma. The deal is awaiting a judge’s approval.

The IHSA lawsuit seeks similar medical monitoring of Illinois high school football players, though it doesn’t spell out how such a program would operate. It contends new regulations should include mandatory baseline testing of all players before each season to help determine the severity of any concussion during the season.

The lawsuit only targets the Illinois association. High school football isn’t overseen by a single national body equivalent to the NCAA, but rather by school boards, state law and 50 separate associations. Siprut says he intends to file suits against other state governing bodies.

Washington was the first state to pass laws addressing sports concussions in children in 2009, including by barring concussed players from returning to the same game. All 50 states have now adopted such laws. But the new lawsuit alleges governing bodies, like the IHSA, have had patchy implementation of state mandates.

Around 140,000 out of nearly 8 million high school athletes have concussions every year, most of them football players, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. Some estimates put the number of concussions much higher.

Eight high school students died directly from playing football in 2013 _ six from head and two from neck injuries _ while there were none last year in college or professional football, a 2014 report by National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research says.

Speaking Saturday, Siprut said the legal action wasn’t intended to undermine America’s most popular sport.
“This is not a threat or attack on football,” he said. “Football is in danger in Illinois and other states – especially at the high school level – because of how dangerous it is. If football does not change internally, it will die. The talent well will dry up as parents keep kids out of the sport – and that’s how a sport dies.”
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  #2  
Old 12-01-14, 04:42 PM
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EagleFan EagleFan is offline
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grandstander or crusader?
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Old 12-01-14, 06:03 PM
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ELKSONE ELKSONE is offline
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Originally Posted by EagleFan View Post
grandstander or crusader?
Crusader; trying to raise awareness while making valid points.
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Old 12-01-14, 06:59 PM
Lambeau Fields Lambeau Fields is offline
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Originally Posted by ELKSONE View Post
Crusader; trying to raise awareness while making valid points.
Which are the "valid points", I must have missed them?

I do, however, get the irony in suing entities who "lack resources". That is pretty rich. Make the member schools and the Association spend precious resources defending a class action lawsuit and implement a bunch of financially unsustainable measures. Brilliant!!
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Old 12-04-14, 02:17 PM
middiemagic middiemagic is offline
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"I think the high school landscape is the next place this fight needs to be brought." That's legalese for where the next vein of cash is for this scheister. I'm sorry, but lawyers care about one thing, their own bank account. Crusader? Yeah, and we all know what the real Crusades were about in the Middle Ages.
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Old 12-04-14, 02:20 PM
Jacknife Jacknife is offline
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Originally Posted by lambeau fields View Post
which are the "valid points", i must have missed them?

I do, however, get the irony in suing entities who "lack resources". That is pretty rich. Make the member schools and the association spend precious resources defending a class action lawsuit and implement a bunch of financially unsustainable measures. Brilliant!!

+1
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Old 12-04-14, 03:31 PM
sapientia et veritas sapientia et veritas is offline
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The case has some emotional merit - high school football associations don't do enough to prevent brain injuries. The case has no merit on the essential question regarding whether the associations have been negligent. Clearly not. The changes to the rules and the equipment have kept pace with the science on football related brain injuries. This is suing car companies for injuries that happened before air bags were standard equipment.
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Old 12-04-14, 03:53 PM
Baseballfan20 Baseballfan20 is offline
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There was a warning on the back of every helmet I ever had. I really didnt have a grasp of the whole picture at the time (IDK if we do now) but I did know that running at full speed and hitting someone probably wasnt in the best interest of my health. Did it anyways loved it would do it again. I really dont like going after athletic associations or schools bc lil billy got hurt back in the day.
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Old 12-04-14, 07:11 PM
the123kidz the123kidz is offline
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I have to ask. Is this "radiodave" reborn?
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