U. S. High Courts Signalling Traumatic Brain Injury A Huge Liability Issue
Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) June 6, 2013 – Traumatic brain injury stalks those who play contact sports, military personnel deployed in a war and those involved in vehicle accidents.
“It is not a stretch of the imagination to state that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a living nightmare. Just read the news relating to the high number of big name sports celebrities who took their own lives as a result of TBI,” suggested Tom Robenalt, a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer.
While brain injuries are considered to be silent, because no one can see them, the effects on those with TBI can be devastating. It may start with body checking once too often, resulting in a whiplash like concussion. It may begin with a series of tackles while on the football or soccer field. It could start in a war zone after being exposed to one too many improvised explosive devices and the concussive shock waves that follow when one blows up.
The fact is even what may be considered to be minor head trauma can amount to serious long term scarring in the brain — clumps of tissues building up and interfering with the normal working of the brain. Those with TBI, if they do not commit suicide, have their lives turned upside down.
Publicaly, not much was done about TBI, until National Football League players filed a class action lawsuit. They are alleging the League withheld crucial information about multiple concussions leading to brain injuries, dementia and other mental illnesses.
“There is substantive evidence that repeated head trauma causes dementia. So much so that more people are filing lawsuits and winning —- earning compensation for brain trauma sustained while they were playing a sport, involved in an accident or in a war,” added Robenalt.
Consider a recent Colorado case, where the state court handed down an $11.5 million verdict to a high school football player. He sustained serious brain injury in 2008, while practicing prior to a game. “That case is notable for the fact that $3.1 million was to be paid by the helmet manufacturer. The court said the company was negligent for not advising customers of the risk of head trauma, even if they were wearing a helmet,” Robenalt pointed out.
Just before the Colorado case was handed down, there was another high dollar, out-of-court settlement for $8 million in a New York case. That one, launched in 2010, involved another ball player, paralyzed after being hit hard in a 2007 scrimmage. “One of the plaintiff’s arguments in court was that he was too small to be playing with the big guys and he had not received proper training or supervision,” Robenalt explained.
In the final analysis, traumatic brain injury is more prevalent in every day life than people think. Whether a concussion happens during football, hockey, soccer, volleyball, in a war zone while on military patrol or in a car accident, if there is negligence involved, only a competent injury lawyer can assist the victim in obtaining equitable and just compensation.
Mellino Robenalt LLC
200 Public Sq., Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901
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