Friday, January 17, 2020
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La Jolla family sues over football concussions

The family of a La Jolla High School football player is suing the San Diego (California) Unified School District after the teen suffered multiple concussions at a game last October, KGTV-News-10 (ABC affiliate) reports.

Notre Dame’s Steve Beuerlein is sacked in 2007. He suffered a concussion. (David Smith / Flickr)

Trey Enloe is a senior this year at the high school. His father said he may have to cancel his dream of attending college, because an assistant football coach allegedly told him to get back into a game after he had complained of concussion-like symptoms following a hard hit last season.

“He told that coach there’s something not right with me, and he had sustained a very hard hit which was later determined to be a concussion,” David Enloe told the station. “He asked to be taken out and the coach told him, ‘I don’t have time for this now.'”

The Enloe’s attorney, William Berman, said the California Interscholastic Federation investigated the incident, but findings weren’t made public. “There needs to be better education among coaching staff, amongst athletic trainers that deal with contact sports like football,” he was quoted as saying.

According to the lawsuit, Trey took additional hits during the game and suffered what were probably multiple concussions. The school district can’t comment on pending litigation but issued a statement saying, in part, that the protocols it follows for allowing players to return to the game following head injuries have been updated.

We noted in April that the Illinois High School Association, fearing that a lawsuit filed in Cook County, if it were to prevail, would kill football as a high school sport, asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit not unlike the one filed in California. The Chicago Tribune had the story.

Based on a high school football player’s signed statement assuming risk during play, the IHSA argued, “the plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed.” But an entire cadre of lawsuits have bombarded state high school athletic associations like the IHSA in recent years. In December 2013, Voxitatis even called on the IHSA to suspend football in the state until the rules could be updated to protect players.

We didn’t actually think that would happen, but we know football won’t survive if players continue to suffer head injuries that bring long-lasting effects of traumatic brain injury.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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