Counsel must develop a list of facts and circumstances, specific to the client’s fact situation, which demonstrates proof of multiple concussion injury.
Attorneys representing injured plaintiffs may have several potential defendants, among them physicians and other health care providers, coaches and athletic trainers, employers, and other parties such as manufacturers of sports equipment, drivers involved in car accidents, and other parties who accidentally or intentionally were a proximate cause of the concussion injury or Second Impact Syndrome or related injury.
Theories of liability may include medical malpractice, negligence, workers compensation, products liability, and even intentional torts.
The following is an example of a checklist that could be used when suing an athletic trainer for negligence, a breach of the standard of care. The checklist demonstrates proof of a head injury by an athlete that resulted in a diagnosis of multiple concussion injury, Second Impact Syndrome, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), or related head injury.
Player Medical History
- Past history of concussions or head injuries
- Education and warnings about concussions and head injuries provided to player prior to the injury
- Existence of any baseline testing results
Nature of Sports Injury; Actions of Sports Medicine Professional
- Date and time of injury
- Specific action causing sports injury
- Specific tests and procedures used by athletic trainer to determine extent and severity of injury
- Names of any health care professionals consulted in evaluating athlete
- Specific procedures performed to treat injury
- Athletic trainer or health care professional’s diagnosis of player’s ability to return to play
- Date and time of clearance to return to play
- Witnesses to injury and trainer’s actions
Patient's Development of Second Impact Syndrome or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- Initial symptoms
- Course of recovery
- Residual effects
- Expert provides testimony showing causation between athletic trainer’s negligent acts and the patient’s Second Impact Syndrome or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy symptoms
- Expert provides testimony ruling out other causes of symptoms
See: Attorneys Medical Advisor, Concussion §§, 36:56 to 36:70; Traumatic Brain Injuries, 72 Proof of Facts 3d 363; Personality Changes Due to Closed Head Trauma, 34 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 3d; Litigating Sports Injury Cases, 114 Am. Jur. Trials 269.