November 1, 2011

A southern Oregon mom has two reasons for filing a lawsuit against her son’s school district. First, she says, she wants the district to make sure football coaches receive proper training in the recognition and treatment of head injuries. Second, she hopes a jury understands that her son will need extra medical care as a result of the brain injury he sustained in a high school football game.

The boy was a high school sophomore in October 2009, playing wide receiver and strong safety in a game against a cross-town rival. According to court documents, after he was struck for the second time during the first half of the game, he told the team coaches that he had a concussion.

The coaches allegedly responded, “Just try and stick it out.” They sent him back into play.

It wasn’t long before the boy suffered a seizure, vomited, collapsed and passed out on the field. At the hospital, he was taken to intensive care, where doctors placed him in a medically induced coma.

The boy’s mother claims the coaches were negligent in both their failure to recognize the signs of a concussion and their failure to take her son out of the game. She further alleges that, although a qualified or certified athletic trainer was present at the game, the coaching staff failed to call on him to examine the boy. The trainer would have recognized the signs of the brain injury, she claims, and would have removed the boy from the game sooner.

Her son is now 17 and still suffers the effects of his injury — seizures, balance problems and vertigo, headaches, mood changes among them. One result of his condition is particularly painful for both son and mother: He can never play football again.

Source: Mail Tribune, “Mom sues district for son’s brain disabilities,” Sanne Specht, Oct. 27, 2011


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