The Norman Transcript

Editorials

September 14, 2013

Concussion suits likely

NORMAN — Lawsuits from concussion injuries from organized college and high school football games could bring as much litigation as asbestos claims, according to an insurance injury publication.

The issue made the front page of Business Insurance, a publication of Crain Communications Inc. The National Football League has tentative agreement on a $765 million settlement for concussion-related liability claims.

Now helmet-to-helmet contact is getting the attention of professional and college coaches and athletic directors. Referees have started ejecting players for violating new rules regarding using helmets as an offensive tool rather than to protect the head.

One major insurance underwriter was leaning toward mandating concussive injury exclusions for NCAA Division 1 schools. Schools are being encouraged to train coaches, teachers, athletes and parents about concussion issues.

Players who are ejected for helmet-to-helmet or blindsiding plays must sit out the remainder of the half in which the infraction occurred and then another half.

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