What is Sports Law? Sports law is an all- encompassing term that describes the law and how it relates to sports. Sports Law can include torts, anti-trust laws, constitutional, trademark, and many other legal issues.
Torts Law and its relation to Sports Law Majority of torts cases in Sports Law relate to product liability and/or negligence. The most common examples of these are sports related injuries caused by negligence by either a company or school/league.
Why This is Important to Me I grew up playing and continue to play multiple This is something the sports and believe it’s a great public needs to know way to build friendships and teach children some life more about in my lessons. The idea that opinion. companies are not warning consumers about possible flaws with their products and much worse, knowingly producing flawed products that are putting young kids well-being at risk is sickening to me.
Product Liability The term product liability is a pretty self explanatory term that refers to a company’s responsibility to make their product safe for consumers and/or make consumer’s aware of all faults the product may present.
So what? Why is this such a big deal on a national level? On a yearly basis, Chances are you will one thousands of children, day have a child that teens, and adults suffer participates in some sort injuries, sometimes of sport so we need to permanent or life- make sure these threatening, that are companies are putting all caused by companies not of the proper information fully informing the public out there and taking the of information regarding proper steps to make specific products. their products as safe as possible.
Edward Acuna v. Riddell Sports 17-year old football Inc. player from Pomona, California. Was tackled, lost consciousness on field and taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a left subdural hematoma in 2009. Injuries resulted in permanent brain damage and partial paralysis
Edward Acuna v. Riddell Sports Inc. cont’d The family claims that the injuries were due to a faulty pad on the front part of the helmet where Edward was hit. In the same accusation the family claims that Riddell knew of the defective pad since 2000 yet failed to inspect and make adjustments to their product. The public was never informed of this defect.
Edward Acuna v. Riddell Sports Inc. cont’d The lawsuit is seeking At the time of this unspecified damages presentation, the legal against Riddell and its process is still subsidiaries for ongoing with no product liability, and for punitive damages conclusion reached. for the manufacturing and distribution of a defective helmet without proper warning.
More Court Cases Against Riddell Unfortunately, Edward Acuna was not the only case regarding the safety of Riddell’s helmets. As proven by the next court case, Riddell has had documented legal issues regarding their helmets since 1995
Jose Rodriguez v. Riddell Sports Inc. 15 year-old high school football player from Texas who lost consciousness in 1995 after being tackled and was immediately taken to the hospital. Was diagnosed with subdermal hematoma (like Edward Acuna) Suffered permanent brain damage and lives in vegetative state.
Jose Rodriguez v. Riddell Sports Inc. cont’d Much like Acuna’s case, the family of Jose Rodriguez sued Riddell Sports on the strict liability claim that they knowingly manufactured and sold an unsafe helmet.
Jose Rodriguez v. Riddell Sports Inc. Ruling The court initially Riddell questioned ruled in Rodriguez’s the school’s decision family’s favor and to provide the players awarded them $14.62 with reconditioned million in the verdict helmets as opposed but was reversed due to buying new to an appeal. helmets. After the remanded trial, Riddell was still liable for $11 million in damages.
Negligence After reading the appeal The findings were in Rodriguez’s trial that definitely a cause for the school might have concern as there were been at fault I wanted to multiple instances of research schools and coaches ignoring signs of coaches to see if they head and brain injuries were fully doing their part and allowing players to in protecting the youth continue playing. The one participating in football. that stood out to me was the case of Zackery Lystedt.
Story of Zackery Lystedt Zack Lystedt was a normal 13 year-old middle school football player from Washington. He suffered a concussion in the first half after making a tackle. At his coach’s discretion, he was allowed to play in the second half in which he endured multiple more traumatic hits to the head which led to brain swelling and resulted in “Second Impact Syndrome”.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5aoc08U7xs
Story of Zackery Lystedt cont’d. Flown to the nearest hospital that could treat him. Surgeons were able to reduce brain swelling but were unable to prevent Zackery from being permanently disabled. Zack spent a total of 93 days and took him 9 months to speak again. The neurosurgeon said if Zackery was taken out after the first tackle, he would not be permanently disabled.
Zackery Lystedt Story cont’d Today, after 5 years of rehabilitation, Zackery is able to perform most functions that a normal 18 year-old can despite his permanent brain damage. Despite taking 3 years after his injury to even stand up, Zackery is beginning to walk again with the help of a cane. In 2011, with the help of his friends, Zackery was able to walk across the stage at his high school graduation.
The Zackery Lystedt Law Although there were no formal charges filed against his coach, the efforts of the Lystedt family and the town of Tahoma Creek, Washington led to the passing of the Zackery Lystedt Law which provided young athletes that showed signs of concussions with protection.
The Zackery Lystedt Law If a player shows symptoms of a concussion they MUST be removed from the game. They may not return to practice or a game until they have been cleared by a “licensed health care professional”. The law was passed unanimously and put into effect in Washington on May 13th, 2009.
Nationwide Effects of the Zackery Lystedt Law The National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell led the nationwide support of the Zack Lystedt law and led the movement to get this put into law in all 50 states. Today, the Zackery Lystedt Law is in effect in 34 of 50 states with many more sure to come.
Conclusion I believe we as a society Sports are becoming have a responsibility to make playing sports for safer and safer young athletes as safe as everyday but we need possible. Whether it be to continue the path providing them with the we have set and best safety equipment or making sure they are make sure these healthy before taking the companies are not field, we have to make knowingly putting out sure we do not have any more cases like the ones defective gear. presented.