A resident of Fayetteville and a former soccer player at the University of Arkansas is one of the leading plaintiffs in a historic case against the NCAA. Angela Palacois is a key member of the class of NCAA athletes who are attempting to hold the NCAA accountable and transform its concussion policies.
On July 29, 2014, the NCAA filed a proposed $70 million settlement that would ensure an entire class of former current and future college athletes in contact sports would have access to concussion diagnostic services and medical professionals
Fortunately, this settlement does not prevent individual athletes who have suffered concussions and traumatic brain injuries from suing their colleges. Injured athletes and their lawyers were able to preserve their personal injury claims.
The settlement, if accepted by Judge John Z. Lee in the Northern District of Illinois, will ensure that the NCAA pays for the medical expenses necessary to diagnose concussions over the course of 50 years.
The testing must occur at the beginning of every preseason, and students who are diagnosed with a concussion will no longer be able to return to playing on the same day. The contact sports that are involved in the suit, include:
- Ice hockey
- Field hockey
Additionally, schools are required to maintain trained concussion professionals and trainers on staff. The $70 million over the course of 50 years may not seem like very much money. However, individual athletes who suffer actual injuries can pursue their individual lawsuits with the help of experienced personal injury lawyers.
College athletes who want to take advantage of the medical diagnostic services will take questionnaires to determine whether they have motor, mood or behavioral problems that are indicative of post-concussion symptoms.
A medical review board will determine whether further testing is required. Though the process of actually being tested once an athlete is no longer a student seems cumbersome, the fact that the personal injury claims have been preserved is vital to ensuring that the NCAA maintains these new standards of health.
Unlike the NFL concussion lawsuit, the college concussion lawsuit is focused on prevention down the road rather than punishing the NCAA for actual injuries.
Bailey & Oliver’s experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyers are available to answer any questions that you may have. Call 479-202-5200.