Tag Archives: Traumatic brain injury

Interview on Chicago Concussion Coalition and Sports Legacy Institute

Established in 2011, the Chicago Concussion Coalition (CCC) represents a network of 50 national athletic, health and social service organizations united under a common mission  to work in partnership with coalition members to provide student athletes in greater Chicago with the best resources available reto protect them from sports related concussions and recurring injuries.

Established in 2011, the Chicago Concussion Coalition (CCC) represents a network of 50 national athletic, health and social service organizations united under a common mission to work in partnership with coalition members to provide student athletes in greater Chicago with the best resources available reto protect them from sports related concussions and recurring injuries.

Do you know someone who plays contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer or baseball? How about someone who cheers for the team? Maybe you also know a veteran of U.S. military service. Ok, what do you think all these people have in common? They are the focus of traumatic brain injury / concussion research, education and policy change, by the Sports Legacy Institute (“SLI”) and the Chicago Concussion Coalition. Earlier this week Michael V. Favia appeared along with Ms. Caitlin McElroy, Field Associate, for the Sports Legacy Institute in Chicago, to share information about SLI and its mission, activities and various avenues for interested professionals to get involved.

Click/tap here to listen to an on demand broadcast of the interview on Law Talk Radio.

The mission of the Sports Legacy Institute is to advance the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups. Highlights of the interview include a further detailed explanation of the SLI’s mission and the foundation of the organization by Christopher Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu. They founded SLI as a Boston-based 501(c)(3) in 2007 in response to new research and increased attention to traumatic brain injuries and the need for more research, education and to affect policy change.

Do remember playing sports as a kid, many years ago, and getting hit in the head? Many little league coaches, for example, were known for saying, “Hey, get up and walk it off and take your base.” Then, days later little Tommy’s facial expressions seemed a bit off and droopy and he started mixing up his words. Nowadays, some people think we are overly cautious about concussions. As more research is reported, the scariest thing doctors conclude is that we have only barely scratched the surface in knowing what we are dealing with in terms of cognitive impairment post trauma.

NFL lawsuits brought concussion/traumatic brain injuries to dinner table discussions nationwide.

When several former NFL players filed suit against numerous defendants for permanent injuries due to concussions during games, a few helmet manufacturers responded with efforts at creating high-tech safety helmets, which is a good thing. What people should remember is that helmets can help soften impacts and protect the skull, but the brain is floating in fluid and those impacts can still create grave danger to players.

Many advocacy groups also focus their attention on cheerleading safety and military service members who suffer from traumatic brain injury. Also discussed in the above-linked interview are current trends in concussion research, and how SLI and the Chicago Concussion Coalition are engaging community groups, schools and teams to share vital information. Attorney Michael V. Favia noted that injury attorneys looking for concussion experts should certainly learn more and be in touch with SLI’s Chicago Concussion Coalition to learn more.

The Law Offices of Michael V. Favia advise and represent clients in connection with concussions/traumatic brain injury. To contact the firm to speak to a lawyer you may dial (773) 631-4580. For more information about the firm’s practice areas, you can visit the website, Facebook and Twitter sites.

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High-tech helmets and concussion safety: UW Health study

"Football helmets have evolved a great deal over the last 50 years. Current helmet designs are heavier, larger and designed to absorb and dissipate impact forces to a greater extent than earlier models used by football players."

“Football helmets have evolved a great deal over the last 50 years. Current helmet designs are heavier, larger and designed to absorb and dissipate impact forces to a greater extent than earlier models used by football players.”

Football season starts soon and players are training to take the field. From the youngest players in grade school to the professional athletes taking the field before millions of fans, concussions are frequent discussion topics. As athletes who suffered traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) file more lawsuits, the manufacturers of safety equipment strive to offer new products that could help prevent concussion injury and damage. It makes sense that a properly fitting helmet could reduce impact to a player’s head, but what about the brain? Can high-tech helmets prevent concussions?

A recent article published in Athletic Business, a popular resource site for athletics professionals, focuses on vendors offering high-tech helmets.[i] Reviewing and commenting on research by Dr. Timothy McGuine and researchers at the University of Wisconsin, AB writers ask, “Is that new technology actually doing any good? New research would say no.” The article, published by UW Health Sports Medicine, “Sports Medicine Research: Helmets and Concussions,” reports the studies of Dr. McGuine and Dr. Alison Brooks.[ii]

The Vengeance DCT is the newest helmet from Schutt Sports. The "DCT" stands for Dual Compression Technology. The 4th Generation of TPU Cushioning contains durometers that are specifically designed to absorb both high-velocity and low-velocity impacts.

The Vengeance DCT is the newest helmet from Schutt Sports. The “DCT” stands for Dual Compression Technology. The 4th Generation of TPU Cushioning contains durometers that are specifically designed to absorb both high-velocity and low-velocity impacts.

“UW Health Sports Medicine is leading a research study to assess the effect of helmet brand on the incidence of sport related concussion in high school football players.”[iii]

The AB article mentions helmets that incorporate new technology, such as one offered by Schutt Sports.[iv] The UW Health article mentions that there are, “…new helmets with claims of laboratory testing that their “helmets offer the maximum protection” or “reduce the risk of concussion.” Further, the article states, “Unfortunately, there is little, if any evidence that the use of a specific football helmet brand will make it more or less likely that a high school football player will sustain a SRC [Sport-related Concussion] while actually participating in high school football.”

Which manufacturer would you choose if you were the high school athletics professional? The helmets that perform better in a fixed testing environment could help players be safer, but to say there could be safety guarantees in an inherently violent contact sport would be a stretch. The “safer” helmets are one component of player safety. Another important element is player education. Learning how to tackle in safer manners can help prevent injury. Spotting concussion symptoms and reporting them to team physicians can also increase safety.

We look forward to following up with the UW Health researches when they compile and share the incidence of sports-related concussions among the three helmet brands the group is tracking. Michael V. Favia & Associates follows and reports on sports injury topics and trends. The firm represents injured persons including athletes suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

ABOUT THE FIRM: The Law Firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates is a successful General Civil Practice dedicated to providing personalized service and high quality representation for clients. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter and you will be kept in the loop about upcoming events and news in the firm’s practice areas including personal injury, medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, complex civil litigation and professional regulation and licensing.

 

Concussion suit: NCAA athletes file suit and seek class action

Football fan, “Theresa Owens blurted in the stands, They just killed him!”[i] Derek Owens, injured playing football for the University of Central Arkansas, seeks damages against the NCAA for failure to prevent brain trauma. Along with Owens, co-plaintiff Alex Rucks, the Northwestern University offensive lineman joins the suit also complaining of post-traumatic brain injury (“TBI”)/concussion injuries.

 Two former college football players launched a putative class action in Illinois federal court accusing the NCAA of negligence and carelessness in failing to take the appropriate steps to protect student-athletes from debilitating head injuries.

Two former college football players launched a putative class action in Illinois federal court accusing the NCAA of negligence and carelessness in failing to take the appropriate steps to protect student-athletes from debilitating head injuries.

Traumatic brain injuries can occur in professional sports and on the local playground.

This suit is one of many that plaintiff athletes are filing these days. The word is getting around that many college and professional athletics and players associations are under fire for not preventing injuries and adequately warning players of safety concerns and traumatic brain injury. For example, many suggest a helmet can protect the skull, but not the brain.

Many parents and school officials should continue paying attention to the unfortunate examples of preventable traumatic brain injuries. When Billy from down the block is hit in the helmet during a little league game and is told to brush it off and take the base, Billy’s parents should be concerned. Examples like this are too common: Billy seemed just fine until a few days later when he started experiencing motor function problems and other TBI symptoms!

What do the doctors know about traumatic brain injury?

The communities of physicians who study and treat brain injury patients often concur that: As soon as they feel prepared to address traumatic brain injuries, more data and research becomes available. One of the problems with diagnosis and prevention of future concussions is the wide variance in symptoms experienced and reported by athletes with concussions. Also, many of the tests of cognitive functioning rely on the accuracy of the victims who report details of their conditions to their treating or team physicians.

Plaintiffs’ complaint states: “The NCAA knew or should have known that its actions or its inaction in light of the rate and extent of concussions reported and made known to the NCAA would cause harm to players in both the short- and long-term.” Further, “The NCAA’s conduct is particularly egregious in light of the fact that its policies and procedures – or lack thereof – leave student-athletes like plaintiffs and members of the [proposed] class inadequately protected from sustaining, monitoring and recovering [from] brain injuries at a particularly early and vulnerable point in their lives.”[ii]

Michael V. Favia & Associates regularly works with clients in the Chicago area who are unfortunately affected by personal injuries, some attributable to brain trauma. If you want to learn more about concussion-type injuries, please call Michael V. Favia & Associates by dialing 773-631-4580 or stop in to make an appointment at one of our convenient locations. Visit Michael V. Favia & Associates’ website for more information. You can also learn more by visiting the firm’s social media pages. “Follow” them on Twitter and “Like” them on Facebook today!


[i] New York Times, November 29, 2011 by George Vecsey, College Athletes Move Concussions Into the Courtroom

[ii] Plaintiff’s complaint cited in Law360, November 29, 2011 by Allison Grande, NCAA Failed To Protect Players From Concussions: Suit

Michael V. Favia speaks at concussion symposium

Michael V. Favia speaks at concussion symposium hosted by DePaul SLICE

Michael V. Favia speaks at concussion symposium hosted by DePaul SLICE on May 9, 2013

Michael V. Favia, J.D., frequently speaks on panel symposiums on the areas of practice offered by The Law Firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates. Personal injury and specifically traumatic brain injuries are focused areas of practice at the firm. This May, the DePaul Sports Legacy Institute, Chicago Concussion Coalition, hosted a concussion symposium and invited attorney Favia to volunteer his time and speak, among a panel of experts, presenting to an audience of nearly 50 professionals who are concerned with injuries to the brain.

Traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) is a compelling field of research and the studies published in the medical and legal communities are frequently updated as more is discovered about the brain and how it responds to injury. Many legal cases in the news highlight the trauma an injury victim experiences. For example, the National Football League and many retired NFL players are involved in ongoing litigation regarding helmet safety, physician roles and player safety through education.

Concussions can be particularly difficult to diagnose and treat, particularly due to a wide range of symptoms experienced and reported by brain injury victims. With increased awareness among professionals and citizens there is an increase in policy making and education so we can all protect our friends and family when an injury occurs. Sporting programs, not only professional, but also local, in schools and communities benefit from the collective research and presentations of the issues in symposiums here in Chicago and nationwide.

The panel of presenters at the May 9, SLICE concussion symposium also included: Dorothy Kozlowski, Ph.D.; Leonard V. Messner, OD, FAAO; Jeffrey Mjaanes, M.D., FAAP, FACSM; Sue Walsh, D.N., Med, ATC, EMT; Amanda Lorenzen, as well as the NFL Alumni Chicago Chapter representatives Marc May and Bryce Fisher.

If you are interested in learning more about concussions and what you should do if you or a friend or family member is injured and are concerned, you should contact The Law Firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates to learn what steps you should take to protect the safety and future medical issues facing those who suffer from traumatic brain injury. The firm can also offer additional educational resources to better help the concerned.

Please feel free to keep the dialogue moving and leave your comments below. You can also keep in touch when you “Like” and “Follow” Michael V. Favia & Associates on Facebook and Twitter.