Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

HughPickens.com writes Michael Tarm reports that a former high school quarterback has filed a lawsuit against 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. This 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. “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. The lawsuit calls on the Bloomington-based IHSA to tighten its head-injury protocols. It doesn’t seek damages. “This is not a threat or attack on football,” says attorney Joseph Siprut, who reached a $75 million settlement in a similar lawsuit against the NCAA in 2011. “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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