Entries in Concussions (4)


Football Coach Charged After Allegedly Flooring Opposing Player

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- A youth football halfback in Utah was headed for a touchdown this past Saturday that would have broken a tie in one of the last games of the season.

At that moment, the opposing team's volunteer coach allegedly stepped onto the field in Payson City, Utah, and struck the 13-year-old player down -- leading to the coach's arrest.

"What I saw was the Payson player running toward the Mapleton sideline," said the game referee, David Durrant.  "What I saw was the Mapleton coach didn't even try to move.  He just raised his arms and hit him with his forearms, is what it looked like."

Durrant threw a yellow flag.  At that point, Nathan Harris, the assistant coach for the Mapleton City's football team, was thrown out of the game.

Harris was arrested that following Monday by Payson police.  The father of six now faces a second-degree felony child abuse charge over the allegation that he hit the seventh grade football player -- a charge that is punishable by as many as 15 years in prison.

"From watching the video [of the game] several times and having other people, such as the county attorney, [watch], and putting together witness statements," said Det. Sgt. Lance Smith of the Payson Police Department, it looked like "the Payson player was running down the sideline and the male individual who was assisting the coaching team struck the boy in the chin with his forearm and backed away and declined to offer any assistance to the boy."

An overwhelming majority of officials from the City of Payson seemed to believe that Harris was in the wrong.  However, Harris' attorneys claimed possible bias in the story.

"Local law enforcement did a shoddy investigation and are interviewing hometown fans," said one of Harris' attorneys, Rhome Zabriskie.  "The video released by law enforcement seems to be doctored and edited.  Conveniently, the video cuts off right after the boy hits the ground giving the impression that the boy gets knocked out."

According to Durrant, "The player got up and went to his own sideline," after his fall and went to the hospital after the game, which Payson City's football team won with a field goal in overtime.

The young football player has since been diagnosed with a concussion because of the run-in with Harris, reported ABC News' Salt Lake City affiliate, KTVX-TV.

"Mr. Harris felt bad that the boy is hurt," said Zabriskie.  "At the same time, he had no time to react.  He had his two little boys standing behind him and no time to react."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Former NFL Players Filing Massive Concussion Lawsuit Against League

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- A landmark class action lawsuit is being filed Thursday morning in Philadelphia against the National Football League by former players who allege the NFL has misled them for decades about the risks of brain injury.

In the lawsuit, the athletes charge "the NFL exacerbated the health risk by promoting the game's violence," and "deliberately and fraudulently" concealed the link between concussions and long term brain damage.


The NFL vehemently denies those claims, saying, "Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit."

One of those players is Kevin Turner, who played fullback for the Philadelphia Eagles.  He can remember two documented concussions and believes he suffered long-term brain damage from his years plunging into the line.

"There was just no focus on the most important part of your body, which is your brain," Turner said.

On Thursday morning he is joining more than 2,000 other former NFL players who are suing the league in the biggest sports lawsuit ever filed.

Concussions have become football's number one issue, with some of the sport's biggest stars suspected of killing themselves because of the damage done.

Last month, Junior Seau, a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, was found dead in his home after taking his own life.  Dave Duerson of the Chicago Bears and Ray Easterling of the Eagles are also among the suicides that have raised questions about football's unbridled violence.

With some of the sport's household names now revealing the human price paid for all those on-field hits, this massive lawsuit could change the game forever.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fla. Girl Falls Off Rock-Climbing Wall, Suffers Concussion

Courtesy Jeff Davis(MIAMI) -- Jeff Davis took his daughter, Emily, and her brother, Zack, to a Florida Marlin’s baseball game on Saturday. Then they went to a rock-climbing wall outside the stadium. That’s when things took a horrifying turn.

Emily, 11, climbed 18 feet up the wall, and then suddenly fell. Her safety harness went completely slack, and she plummeted to the ground.

Davis had been recording the moment on his cell phone camera, but when his daughter fell, he dropped the camera and sprinted to her side.

“I just wanted to know she was breathing,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America.

Davis said he heard Emily’s head go “smack.” The dropped phone continued to record, and the girl could be heard whimpering as she regained consciousness.

Emily, who suffered a concussion, was recuperating Monday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

“I don’t remember falling, or the ambulance ride,” the girl said. “I remember telling my dad it was a dream, wake up.”

Asked whether she would ever go rock-climbing again, Emily replied: “If I have a helmet on I guess?”

The Marlins organization immediately closed the rock-climbing attraction and is investigating the incident.

Emily’s accident is far from rare.  In 2010, a Consumer Protection and Safety Administration study found that as many as 1,082 children between the ages of 2 and 18 were seriously hurt while rock-climbing.

Harness failures, though, are rare.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ex-NFL Players Sue League for Ignoring Dangers of Concussions

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Coming on the heels of former San Diego Charger Junior Seau's suicide, more than 100 former football players filed a lawsuit Thursday that alleges the National Football League (NFL) deliberately misled them about the dangers of concussions.

According to the filing in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, the players, who join over 1,500 others who've made similar claims, accuse the NFL of constantly refuting "the connection between concussions and brain injury."

While what caused Seau to kill himself Wednesday at his Oceanside, Calif., home may never be known, investigators will look into the possibility that he suffered from repeated blows to the head during his 20-year career that ended in 2010.

The lawsuit calls for the NFL "to take reasonable steps necessary to protect players from devastating head injuries. Moreover, the NFL has downplayed and misrepresented the issues and misled players concerning the risks associated with concussions."

Previous lawsuits have been combined for a trial in Philadelphia that has yet to be scheduled.

As officials have done before, the NFL contends it looks out for the safety of its players and maintains that all the lawsuits are without merit.

Ultimately, the former players may have science on their side since studies have shown a link between concussions and a neurodegenerative condition known at CTE, which causes Alzheimer's-like symptoms and mood swings.

At least 12 dead NFL players were diagnosed with CTE during postmortem exams.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio