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Former university football player files lawsuit for concussions

Oklahoma football fans may be interested to learn that, on Aug. 13, it was announced that a former safety who played for the University of California, Berkeley, has sued the school. The former player, who was active between 2004 and 2008, claimed that the school did not warn him about potential long-term impacts of concussions.

The former player claimed that he suffered several concussions during his time playing for the Golden Bears. He stated that he was allowed back onto the field too soon following his injuries. After he left the school, the former player reportedly suffered from depression, dizziness, blurred or double vision and memory loss.

According to the former player's attorney, the dangers of concussions are starting to become more known due to the research available. However, players appear to be much less likely to believe the research than their own coaches and team doctors. The team's current concussion management plan reportedly states that the players must be removed from both practice and competition until they are cleared by the team's doctors. Additionally, they must be given literature once each year and must sign an acknowledgement indicating that they understand the risks.

Neurological damage that is caused by a concussion may not make itself known until much later. Depending on the severity of the injury, a concussion can cause episodes of depression, trouble with vision and major memory loss. A person who was cleared to continue an activity or go back to work by a doctor without being informed of the risks may potentially have the grounds to file a medical negligence lawsuit if harm results. In such a case, the attorney for the plaintiff must demonstrate that the doctor failed to exhibit the appropriate standard of care.

Source: Yahoo Sports, "Former Cal safety Bernard Hicks sues school for medical malpractice", Graham Watson, Aug. 13, 2015

Source: The Daily Californian, "Former UC Berkeley football player sues university for alleged concussion-related medical malpractice", Ariel Hayat, Aug. 12, 2015

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