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Is Soccer the New Football?

Concussion or head injury lawsuits received a great deal of media coverage in the last several years. The National Football League recently settled a concussion lawsuit, and the National Hockey League has also been sued. Now, soccer joins the fray. The New York Times reports that a group of soccer parents and players recently filed a class-action lawsuit against FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and affiliated organizations such as the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO).

The Lawsuit

The class action lawsuit against FIFA, AYSO, and other defendants was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit alleges the defendants were negligent because they:

  • Failed to educate players and their parents concerning symptoms of concussions;
  • Failed to warn of the risk that concussions could result from repeated impacts to the head;
  • Failed to disclose risk of long-term complications from repeated concussions and return to play;
  • Failed to promulgate rules and regulations to adequately protect players; and
  • Concealed and misrepresented pertinent facts related to concussions and the safety of returning to play.

Unlike in many of the previous concussion-related lawsuits, the plaintiffs here are not seeking money damages. Instead, they are asking for an injunction that would require the various organizations to change the rules of soccer in order to prevent, manage, and mitigate head injuries and concussions.

The new rules would limit how many times a player under the age of 17 could head the ball. In support of this rule, the lawsuit cites an academic study showing that youth who headed a soccer ball 885 times per year showed brain abnormalities, and youth who headed a soccer ball more than 1800 times per year showed memory impairment. The complaint alleges that at five headers per practice or game, some high school soccer players frequently exceed 1,800 headers per year.

The lawsuit also seeks to establish a medical monitoring program that would be available for soccer players coping with the effects of concussions

Concussions Can Result From Repeated Blows

As discussed above, a concussion or traumatic brain injury can result from repeated blows or impacts to the head, even if none of the blows alone would have caused significant injury. This is because the effects of minor injuries can accumulate over the long term, and those injuries can cause symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue or tiredness;
  • Memory loss;
  • Blurry vision;
  • Seizures;
  • Headaches; and
  • Dizziness.

Similar to the allegations in the soccer lawsuit, a Maryland resident who suffers from a sports-related brain injury may file a lawsuit alleging negligence. If a coach, school, or sport association was aware of concussion-related dangers and failed to protect athletes, maintain equipment, or warn athletes, this could support a claim in negligence. In addition, football, hockey, or baseball helmet manufacturers could be liable for a defective helmet under products liability law.

Justin Katz is a personal injury lawyer who represents injury victims in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
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02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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Chris Shin
Chris Shin
18:23 20 Jun 18
They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
Jonathan Roane
Jonathan Roane
22:51 17 Nov 17
If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
Israel Thompson
Israel Thompson
00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
Marta Kritselis
Marta Kritselis
16:19 01 Sep 17
Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
Myong Kim
Myong Kim
22:04 31 Mar 17
I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
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