We often hear a lot of news and chatter revolving around the National Football League and its athletes suffering from serious head injuries. However, the news of a young athlete’s death caused by a head injury is shocking and appalling.
In 2011, Frostburg State University senior football player Derek Sheely suffered a concussion during a pre-season practice. A few days later after complaining of a headache, one of the coaches told the player to “get back out there”.
The 22 year old died that day from what they believe to be second-impact syndrome.
Second-impact syndrome can have fatal effects. When this occurs, the brain swells rapidly due to a previous concussion that has not had time to fully heal.
In Sheely’s case, his first concussion was not treated properly, and the coaching staff’s negligence led to this young man’s death.
For the first time in NCAA history the association has settled on a $1.2 million wrongful death suit for the player last week.
Although the NCAA and the athletic staff defendants did not admit liability on Sheely’s death, the state of Maryland awarded the family $50,000 on behalf of those school staff members.
In addition, the NCAA proposed it will pay $70 million toward concussion testing/diagnosis for both current former collegiate athletes in order to settle several other class action suits relating to concussions.
This case is a major change in the way schools, athletic staff members, and players conduct concussion protocol for sports-related head injuries.
Not only did the family win this case for the death of their son, but in his tragic death the awarded money will go toward the Derek Sheely Foundation.
This foundation will provide research funding for student-athlete head injury risks, scholarships in Derek’s name, and pushing institution policies that will reduce severe head injuries in sports. The NCAA agreed to create a head injury video to push education for this topic.
Strides for sports-related concussions over the years have been small, but the more injuries that occur shed more light on the overall severity of this problem. Being a father and a personal injury attorney, is my duty to educate others on the severe consequences of traumatic brain injuries.
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.