Cherry Hill Personal Injury Lawyers discuss Brain Injury Lawsuit Prompts Rule Changes to Youth Soccer

Brain injuries are a problem for people of all ages throughout the nation. The impact an injury of this nature can have on the person who suffers a concussion or traumatic brain injury will vary depending on a variety of factors. When children injure their still developing brains, the outcome could be devastating.

While a mild brain injury may not initially appear to result in any long-term damage, if someone suffers such an injury repeatedly, damage could occur. These types of injuries could occur in many different situations including while playing sports such as soccer.

Because it is not a contact sport, soccer may not be the first sport that comes to mind when someone thinks about activities that cause brain injuries in kids. Despite this, in August 2014, a class-action lawsuit was filed by players and parents against the American Youth Soccer Organization, U.S. Soccer and FIFA. In that lawsuit it was alleged that there was negligence in the way in which head injuries were monitored and treated. That case was recently resolved.

Unlike many civil claims, monetary damages were not sought in this case. Instead, the plaintiffs wanted changes to rules. As a result, the United States Soccer Federation recently announced safety initiatives for youth teams. These include:

  • A prohibition of headers for children under the age of 11
  • A reduction in the number of headers that can be done in practice for kids between the ages of 11 and 13
  • Modifications to substitution rules concerning players suspected of suffering a concussion

There are of course situations when financial damages could be sought in connection with head injuries suffered by children. A personal injury lawyer can help determine whether filing such a claim makes sense.