Issue: August 2017
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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Brain Injury Dangers

Introduction

Liability Involving CTE

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative condition linked to repeat head injury. Although CTE was first identified in boxers, later studies found the same condition in persons with other forms of head injury.

 

Health care experts currently recognize that it is the sustained or repetitive brain injury, rather than the sport or other activity in which the brain injury occurs, that increases the risk of developing this condition.

 

Litigation involving a CTE injury can assert claims of negligence, including medical negligence, negligence in coaching and supervision, and negligence related to sports equipment and facilities. Issues under product liability, labor and employment law, and workers compensation also arise.

 

Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, manufacturers, and other potential parties to litigation need to understand the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that may arise in connection with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed for a product liability claim related to chronic traumatic encephalopathy? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for chronic traumatic encephalopathy? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician to employ?

Insurers:

Can a payout under a disability or life insurance policy for a benefits claim related to an insured’s chronic traumatic encephalopathy be avoided? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can an employer be subject to liability for an employee’s chronic traumatic encephalopathy? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer to use?


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice or negligence involving repeat head trauma, possibly resulting in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving repeat head trauma, possibly resulting in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of medical malpractice or negligence involving repeat head trauma, possibly resulting in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if the employee’s repeat head trauma, possibly resulting in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), was “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment.”

Expert Analysis

Can Testing in Live Patients Diagnose Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Bennet Omalu, M.D., M.B.A., MPH

How Are Concussion Severity and Return to Play Determined?

Joseph C. Maroon, MD

Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution.


Reasons to Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.


Reasons to Go to Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.


Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving traumatic brain injury?



Medical Examples

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

This section provides detailed medical information on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), athletic and other guidelines and protocols, signs and symptoms of CTE, and diagnosis at autopsy. This part also discusses the patient’s ability to engage in sports and/or work.



Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).


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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Brain Injury Dangers

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Bennet Omalu, M.D., M.B.A., MPH
   Joseph C. Maroon, MD

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy
   Attorneys
   Physicians and Health Providers
   Insurers
   Employers and Risk Managers

Practice the Technique: Checklists
   Attorney Checklist
   Physician Checklist
   Insurer Checklist
   Employer Checklist

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Reasons to Reach Settlement

Reasons to Go to Trial

Jury Awards and Settlements

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Law and Medicine Resources