Concussion Injury Lawsuit Filed Against University of Illinois; Cites Improper Protocol

Published on May 18th, 2019

What are the civil ramifications for colleges and universities that fail to follow proper procedures when a concussion is suspected?

In recent years, the lifelong implications of an untreated concussion have received an unprecedented amount of attention. Until recently, concussions were relatively unheard of – and certainly did not necessarily require an athlete to leave the field or forgo practicing the next day. That is, however, until several veteran professional and collegiate athletes began to seek compensation for the permanent neurological damage that can occur if a concussion is left untreated or is aggravated by further immediate physical activity.

In the wake of the concussion storm, groups like the NCAA and high school athletic associations implemented strict protocols that must be followed if an athlete is suspected to have sustained a concussion in practice or during competition. The regulations span virtually every sport, and are considered mandatory – not discretionary – rules designed to mitigate player injury.

Illinois Alleged to Have Failed to Follow Protocol

In June, 2015, a 20-year old former Division I collegiate soccer player initiated a lawsuit against the University of Illinois, alleging it failed to follow proper concussion protocol when she was injured during a game. In October, 2014, the then nineteen-year-old came into contact with an opposing player from fellow Big 10 rival Northwestern University, causing her to collapse to the ground and experience difficulty returning to her feet.

Since then, the player has had to forgo further participation on the team, suffers from post-concussion syndrome, has endured memory problems, and is in near-constant pain. At the time of the incident, she was instructed to prepare for the next weeks’ big game against Rutgers University – despite having not received medical clearance from the university’s doctors. She played for 25 minutes in that game before sitting out. The following week, she endured additional injury at a game against the University of Maryland – a game which lasted well into overtime. It was after that match that her symptoms worsened, and the university’s physician declared her unfit to continue playing soccer. The following semester, she was unable to handle a two-course workload, and eventually withdrew from the school.

The former soccer star has initiated a personal injury lawsuit, and is seeking at least $50,000 in damages.

If you recently experienced a personal injury and would like to speak with a reputable legal representative, please contact the experienced Chicago, Waukegan and McHenry attorneys at Ryan Ryan & Viglione today by calling (847)244-1436.

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