Concussion injuries spark concerns well beyond the NFL playing field

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”


The latest serious head injury to a world-class football player has raised concerns over the safety of the sport and how it deals with concussions. This time it is not America’s version of football that is grabbing headlines.

Soccer stretch Mecklenburg County Injury Lawyer Charlotte North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyThe concussion was not suffered on an NFL training camp field—the Buffalo Bills kick off training camp July 18, and most NFL teams don’t start until the following week. Instead, German midfielder Christoph Kramer collided with Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay during Sunday’s World Cup Finale. Kramer suffered a vicious knock in the face; he kept playing for 14-miuntes before being substituted. After the match, he said he remembered little of Germany’s 1-0 victory over Argentina.

The Argentine team started at least two players in the World Cup finale who had suffered hard knocks to the head in a semifinal match against the Netherlands. Michael D’Hooghe, chairman of FIFA’s medical committee, said he was dismayed at watching Uruguayan player Alvaro Pereira resume playing after being knocked unconscious in an earlier game. FIFA is the organization that runs the World Cup.

Americans aren’t as familiar with un-American football—also known as soccer—as the rest of the world, but they are familiar with sports-related concussions and their effects. Few Americans could have missed the amount of media attention devoted to football-related concussions in recent years. Democrat Representative Linda T. Sanchez of California told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell the NFL was like “the tobacco companies pre-’90s when they kept saying, ‘Oh, there’s no link between smoking and damage to your health’” at a 2009 Congressional hearing. That wasn’t the first—nor was it the only—Congressional tongue-whipping the NFL received on the subject.

Some researchers have called for a ban on American football. Others have asked leagues ranging from the NFL to local little-league football chapters to take steps to minimize the risk of head injuries. Even the White House got in on the action, holding a “Healthy Kids and Safe Sports” concussion summit this past May.

The NFL has changed some of its rules to cut down on hard hits to players’ heads. And the league has sought to resolve a legal dispute with some 4,500 former players who sued the league claiming they had developed neurological infirmities as a result of football-related head injuries. A judge who rejected earlier versions of the settlement—which limited damages to $765 million—approved a revised settlement that places no cap on damages.

The World Cup injuries and the raising of the concussion alarm shows sports-related concussion injuries are not just a concern for American football. The White House called sports-related brain injuries an “alarming trend,” and Pres. Obama said “parents, coaches, clinicians and young athletes [need] the tools to prevent, identify, and respond to concussions.”

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone’s negligent or intentional conduct, please do not hesitate to contact me to set up an appointment today. If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.


About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.






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