More concussion lawsuits could be on the horizon

Illinois made headlines last year when its high school athletic association became the first to be hit with a lawsuit over head injuries. But comments from the plaintiff’s attorney suggest more states could come under fire.

HeadInjuriesThe New York Times last month published this piece examining the Illinois case and how the lawsuit could affect the Illinois High School Association. The organization’s leaders say the programs the lawsuit would require to be put in place are too expensive and could cripple the association if they’re forced to implement them.

That case is ongoing, but the most interesting aspect of the article is comments from attorney Joseph Siprut, who represents Alex Pierscionek. Pierscionek, who played football at South Elgin High School outside of Chicago, is suing the state athletic association over its head injury policies.

“Lawsuits can be a mechanism for change, especially at large institutions,” Siprut said in the article. “We want to be successful here and make Illinois a shining beacon for what a state can be. We’ve got more lawsuits primed and ready to go because we want other states to get in line.”

Illinois athletic association Executive Director Marty Hickman is particularly concerned about an aspect of the lawsuit that would require the creation of a medical monitoring fund. A proposed settlement with the NCAA put the fund’s cost at around $70 million, according to the article, and the IHSA’s annual budget is just $10 million.

Siprut offered no other insight about additional lawsuits but indicated that he’s trying to find prospective plaintiffs in other states. It’s clear that more athletic associations could soon be hit with lawsuits similar to the one facing the IHSA.

Click here to read the full article.

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