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4 Concussion Litig. Rep. [1] (2015-2016)

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July 2015, Vol. 4, No. 1

Timely reporting on developments and legal strategies at the intersection of sports and concussions-
articles that benefit practicing attorneys who may be pursuing a claim or defending a client.

Contents


     Court Weighs in on Recklessness Standard in Concussion Case involving School

      District and Coach

     Examining the Purported Safety Benefits of Synthetic Turf Fields
     Rigged Game: The Florida Supreme Court's Decision in Plancher and the Abuse of
      Sovereign Immunity in Sports Law

     Insurers and Insureds Could be at Odds over Sports Concussion Lawsuits
     Ohio Court Reinstates Concussion Lawsuit against Bowling Green State University

     Focus of University of Illinois Concussion Lawsuit Is Whether Defendants Followed
      Protocol
     A New Paradigm for Understanding Incapacitating Post-Concussion Syndrome

     Who's to Blame for Iowa High School Football Player's Concussion?
     Cheerleader Sues after Performing Stunt that Led to Concussion

     In Teaming Up with USA Football, Oregon Gets Proactive about Concussions
     Former WWE Superstar Offers Perspective on His Concussion Lawsuit


Court Weighs in on Recklessness Standard in Concussion Case
involving School District and Coach
A state court in Massachusetts has delivered a small victory to former high school student athlete
Amy Dugan, who sued her coach and the school after the defendants allegedly mishandled a
concussion she suffered, leading to multiple concussions.

Specifically, the court denied the defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings, which was
premised on their argument that Dugan chose to play in a competitive sporting event, (and) may only
pursue tort claims against them upon an allegation that they engaged in willful, wanton or reckless
conduct.

The incidents leading to the litigation occurred on October 2011 when Dugan was a high school junior
at Thayer Academy and a member of the school's varsity field hockey team. The other defendant was
Head Coach Erin Cash, a paid employee of Thayer.

On October 7, 2011, the team played a game in Concord, New Hampshire. During that game, Dugan
was hit in the head by a field hockey ball and suffered a head injury and/or a concussion. Cash
witnessed the incident, according to the complaint. But did not attempt to determine whether she had
suffered a concussion or other injury as a result and did not remove her from the game. At no time
during or after the game did Cash ask Dugan if she had any symptoms related to the head injury or
communicate the nature of the injury to her parents, Thayer's athletic director or school nurse, or any
medical professional, according to the complaint.

Allegedly, Dugan attended the team's practice on October 11, 2011 although she had not been
evaluated by, or received clearance from, a duly licensed medical professional following her October
7, 2011 head injury.

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