Moorad Sports Law Symposium: Concussion Conundrum

The concussion issue has permeated every facet of life and sport.  Now policies, products, rules and law are starting to address the issue head on (pun intended), and one of the most renowned groups is taking a look at this issue as well;

The 2013 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium—Concussion Conundrum—explores, debates, and informs on the key issues facing players, teams, leagues, doctors, and lawyers regarding head injuries and brain trauma in sports.

Panels include commentary from well-known retired professional athletes about concussion awareness and prevention amongst players; an examination of both sides of the NFL Concussion Injury Litigation—the concussion injury class action suit brought by former NFL players against the league; an exploration of the science and concussion-related liability facing professional and amateur sports; and a look at where we are and where we are going with media personalities commenting on the state of sports and concussions.

Andrew Brandt, Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law and NFL Business Analyst, has covered the concussion issue for ESPN and moderates all panels.

The Symposium takes place on Friday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the Arthur M. Goldberg Commons at Villanova University School of Law. This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 2 substantive CLE credits. The event is free for non-CLE attendees.

The panel and the topics are top notch; this event should be on the “to-do” list of  anyone interested in sports law.  Below is the topics and panels (check the website for more deets – also notice our partners at stopconcussions.com (Keith Primeau) and our good friend Paul Anderson);

  • Panel 1: Framing the Issue
    • Keith Primeau
    • Jim Nelson
    • Taylor Twellman
    • Brian Westbrook
  • Panel 2: Building the Case — A Legal and Medical Background of Concussions  Continue reading
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Echoing “Concussion Prevention” Concerns

On Paul Anderson’s (@PaulD_Anderson) NFL Concussion Litigation blog a guest post went up the other day taking on the ever-growing concern of concussion “prevention” products.  The article was written by Andrew M. Belcher, MD (@the_jockdoc) and plainly explains it is buyer beware, as concussions are more than protection for the skull;

So then what we really need to prevent concussions are seatbelts and airbags for our brains inside of our skulls.  Here’s one more example to make it clear.  Shaken baby syndrome is caused by shaking a screaming baby back and forth to make them stop crying.  Even though their head never hits anything, the shaking leads to brain damage.  Would wearing a baby helmet have helped?  Of course not.  So how can a helmet possibly eliminate concussions in football.  It can’t.  Any protective device that claims to prevent concussions in a contact sport is false advertising and may be giving athletes a false sense of security.  How can athletes be well informed of the risks they are taking when the advertising by equipment manufacturers minimizes the risks?  The only way to prevent concussions is not to step on the field in the first place.

Very succinct and spot on, concussions are not mainly caused by linear forces to the skull; they are created by acceleration and deceleration of the brain INSIDE the skull.  Products that claim that they prevent concussions are borderline fraudulent, as there is NO study available that any current product can prevent concussions.  Sure, some can attenuate certain (see linear) forces to the head region, but other than a HANS device there is nothing in sport that limits the acceleration/deceleration or rotational properties of brain trauma.  In fact, increasing the weight of the head can increase mass, therefore by the laws of Physic’s, increase the overall force.

There is no guessing where I stand on the claims put forth by Continue reading

Coalition for Concussion Treatment #C4CT

Yesterday I helped launch the #C4CT cause via the blog and twitter and it was nice to see the interest really begin to peak (thanks @SchuttSports, @the_jockdoc  and many others).  As with most movements or introduction of products getting interest is the first thing; now with official press release in hand it is time to explain and get more of us going here.

The hard work of Jack Brewer and Alex Nennig (and probably others) of Brewer Sports International have created this coalition which I believe to be a “best foot forward” approach in not only raising awareness and education of concussions (our number on goal on The Concussion Blog) but has a possibility to stake a claim in treatment of lasting effects of TBI.  I am honored to be asked to be a primary supporter of this cause, although as it catches wild-fire I am hopeful more important people jump aboard – looking at you NFLPA and NFL.

It is also an honor to be along side a very strong and promising law student in Paul Anderson.  I have had many conversations about creating such a cause, but have yet to find the trailblazing counterparts until this came along.  Please take the time to read the below press release and join along this weekend in using the #C4CT, even promoting questions from others about the hash tag is an opportunity to inform!

Press Release========== Continue reading

The Continuation of NFL Concussion Litigation

Paul Anderson of NFL Concussion Litigation has been busy cataloging more and more filed lawsuits that relate to concussions and the NFL.  From the Twitter feed of @PaulD_Anderson

On the eve of the 1st hearing in the #NFL#Concussion Litigation, there are 65 lawsuits and over 1,500 plaintiffs.

A quick link list of the most recent news;

The amount of players is becoming dizzying to Continue reading