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Can Concussion Victims Sue Under Products Liability Law?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

The National Football League is not the only entity defending itself against claims related to traumatic brain injury. Just last year, a Pennsylvania federal court judge ordered that a lawsuit could proceed against a football helmet manufacturer for allegedly producing a defective product. The claim is that Riddell Inc., the official supplier of helmets for the NFL, advertised and marketed its product as reducing concussions by 31 percent. The players in the lawsuit assert that the company was negligent on a number of counts. This is a new course of action for many of the plaintiffs who have previously sued the NFL for concealing the dangers of concussions. The crux of the issue here is whether the manufacturer had a duty to warn of the possibility of brain damage even when the helmets were worn properly.

Some of these lawsuits were first brought in 2012. They were then separated from the multi-district settlement finalized with the NFL. The class action lawsuit seeks damages for the injuries associated with repetitive head trauma during the plaintiffs’ NFL careers. The suit also seeks compensation for spouses and a monitoring procedure for those players who have not yet exhibited the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

NCAA football players made similar claims in 2016, but the court dismissed the lawsuit. It found that the helmets did not have any manufacturing defects. But the former NFL players are making a different claim. The lawsuit alleges that Riddell was negligent in its failure to warn players that head injuries and permanent brain damage can occur with proper use of the helmet. According to plaintiffs, Riddell was aware that their claim of a 31% reduction in the likelihood of a concussion was false and they did not disclose this information. Riddell was told by an independent source that no helmet can be designed to prevent concussions. The helmet manufacturer did not reveal the study’s conclusions and did not alter its marketing tactics based on this finding. Riddell maintains that its helmets meet standards set forth by the National Operating Committee for Standards on Athletic Equipment

If you or a member of your family has been injured by a defective product, contact Alexander Law Group, LLC. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will be sure you get the maximum compensation possible. Call 888.777.1776, or contact us online.

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