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Brain injury lawsuit against helmet company continues

Brain injuries are serious health conditions because they often profoundly affect the lives of entire families and not just the injury victims. Although falls, vehicular accidents and assaults are the leading causes of brain injuries in the United States, sports accidents continue to cause brain damage every year.

Recently, the mother of a Pomona high school student who sustained a brain injury during a football game in 2009 took the stand in Los Angeles Superior Court against Riddell Sports Inc., the manufacturer of the helmet the boy was wearing at the time of his injury.

The family's lawsuit alleges that improper padding in the helmet's forehead area contributed to a subdural hematoma that left the boy with a paralyzed right arm, memory problems and a lifetime of care ahead of him. His 53-year-old mother quit her job to look after most of his needs. She is the third member of their family to testify in the suit.

The accident occurred when the student, then 17, played during a home football game. After being hit during the game, he collapsed on the sideline and became unconscious. According to previous testimony in the case, the victim was in a coma for 11 days and spent more than four months in the hospital.

According to the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, better material in the helmet could have prevented the injury. However, Riddell's attorneys claimed that the helmet has no design defects and noted that it is the same model used in the NFL.

Brain damage can have long-lasting effects and result in permanent disability, which typically means costly medical bills, lost wages and other extended expenses. If a brain injury was caused in full or in part by the negligence of another party, then the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Diamond-Walnut Patch, "Garey High School Parent Testifies in Helmet Lawsuit," Michelle Mowad, March 13, 2014

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