A class action lawsuit was filed yesterday in US Federal District Court against the Federal of International Football Association (FIFA) and US Soccer leagues by parents seeking changes to the associations concussion management rules to prevent brain injuries from occurring.
The plaintiffs are not seeking financial compensation but changes to how the game is played. They are seeking an injunction compelling the leagues to changes their rules regarding “heading” a soccer ball, when to remove a player from the game after a suspected concussion takes place, how long to keep the player out, and educational requirements. The lawsuit wants the league to prevent any player under 14 from heading the ball.
Michael Kaplen was interviewed for a story published in the New York Times, Concussion Lawsuit Bids to Force Rule Changes in Soccer regarding this lawsuit. While Mr. Kaplen agrees with the purported motivation for commencing this action, he has serious doubts whether the court can grant the plaintiffs the relief they demand.
The complaint is an excellent primer on the history of sports concussions, what was known and when it was known, the need for sports concussion management and the dangers faced by children who sustain a concussion while engaged in a sporting activity. Attached is the full complaint: Class Action Soccer Concussion Lawsuit
A concussion is a brain injury. The best cure for a brain injury is prevention. When in doubt, keep them out!