When people play sports, they assume there is some risk level of being injured. Players often take measures to minimize injuries based on their knowledge of what equipment and safety guidelines might minimize their risk. If a person doesn’t know about all of the risks because a company or person fails to warn them, certain parties might be negligent.
A jury recently awarded a young man and his family $11.5 million after the man sustained a brain injury and suffered from paralysis in half of his body. The jury found that the largest helmet manufacturer in the country, Riddell, was at fault in the case and will have to pay $3.1 million.
The company claims that its helmets are safe, but the jury that decided the case said that the company did not fully warn players of risks that were still present despite using the helmet to reduce the risk of injury. The coaches on the boy’s team were also found negligent but were not being required to pay any damages.
These awards might seem large, but many times they are consistent with the amount of money that it might require for a person to treat their injuries both in the short term and in the future. Sometimes brain injuries can result in millions of dollars in medical treatments over the course of a person’s life. It is important that a person doesn’t have to suffer financially because of a person or companies negligence. Many other cases for brain injuries in football players are pending across the country.
Source: The New York Times, “Judge Rules Against Football Helmet Manufacturer,” Ken Belson, April 14, 2013