Most of us take reasonable precautions to protect ourselves from injuries large and small. But some of the most serious injuries – traumatic brain injuries – occur as the result of activities people willingly participate in, like contact sports.

The question is: are young players who participate in contact sports given an accurate picture of the risks they face? Are their parents adequately informed of the dangers of the game? Are sports equipment manufacturers being honest about the benefits and limits of their safety equipment? These questions are at the heart of many lawsuits, including a wrongful death lawsuit recently filed by a grieving father.

According to news reports, an Ohio man has filed a lawsuit against football helmet manufacturer Riddell related to the death of his 22-year-old son in 2016. The young man suffered a seizure while sitting in a fishing boat, fell overboard and drowned.

What does this have to do with football helmets? As a child, the boy played football from about age 8 through age 18, always relying on Riddell helmets. After he drowned in the accident, an autopsy showed that the former player suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is most often caused by repeated brain injuries over time. It has been posthumously found in a significant number of former NFL players.

The father’s wrongful death lawsuit includes allegations that Riddell designed and manufactured a defective product and failed to warn consumers about the dangers/limitations of its helmets.  

Whether from a single accident or repeated concussions, brain injuries can cause lasting problems with memory, changes in personality, difficulty caring for oneself, depression, and even neurological episodes like seizures. This case shows that when manufacturers of safety equipment misrepresent how effective their helmets are at preventing brain injuries, the results can be devastating.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another person’s negligence, please discuss your legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.