Mother alleges dangerous football practices cost son his life

Alabama football fans and safety advocates are watching as the mother of an NCAA college football player has filed a lawsuit against the organization and a helmet company contending that her son died from brain injuries because his coaches continued to enforce allegedly dangerous drills. The wrongful death lawsuit also names two coaches and a trainer, although his school was not named in the lawsuit. The 22-year-old all-conference player died on Aug. 22, 2011.

The helmet manufacturer claimed that the helmets could prevent head injuries, but the woman contends their claims were inaccurate because they did not effectively keep the players from injuries suffered due to impact. His mother further stated in the lawsuit that the practices at the school were full-blown contact collisions. She claimed that one of her son's teammates described the practices as "out of control," with a significant risk of head trauma.

She elaborated that her son participated in a drill that had been criticized by some NFL teams as dangerous. She described the drill by saying that one player acted as a dummy to take the full brunt of the other players tackles. During the 15-minute drills, players could receive from 30 to 40 blows to the head. She elaborated that the players understood the danger of the drills and that some players even left the team so they wouldn't be injured.

During one of these drills, her son's head began bleeding excessively; he was examined by the trainer and told to continue to practice. He participated in drills the next day, when the bleeding started again, and again told to practice. No concussion tests were done, although he complained of a headache.

When someone dies due to negligence or irresponsible actions, family members might want to hold someone accountable. A personal injury attorney might be able to help clients pursue legal action against the responsible parties

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Mother Blames College Football Coaches & NCAA for Son's Death", Jonny Bonner, September 05, 2013

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