Shortly after a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stating that the number of children suffering serious head injuries has jumped 62 percent over the last 10 years, there is more news on the student-athlete brain injury front. According to Alabama Live, Timothy Robinson, the Alabama high school football player who suffered a traumatic brain injury making a tackle in 2009, has reached a settlement with the manufacturer of the helmet he was wearing. Robinson was wearing a Schutt helmet when he made a seemingly innocent tackle but suffered a brain injury that required immediate surgery, put him in a coma for weeks, and permanently confined him to a wheelchair.
Robinson is not the only student-athlete to reach a settlement with Schutt. Reportedly, six other children experienced similar injuries while wearing Schutt helmets. These players were from Georgia, Texas, New Jersey, and California. Schutt Sports is located in Litchfield, Illinois and has sought bankruptcy protection. According to the news story, Evelyn McGhee, Robinson’s mother, commented that she’s “relieved this part of our ordeal is over. Timothy is such an inspiration to us all, and I’m just glad this is behind us.” Timothy is able to communicate using a special laptop and speaking software and plans on attending the University of South Alabama for business management and music.
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries, especially in juvenile athletes, are a serious problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average over 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury annually. These injuries can range from mild changes in an individual’s mental state to prolonged changes in consciousness. Brain injuries can have devastating effects on the victim, including lasting disabling changes to thinking, sensation, language, and emotion, as well as debilitating diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders.
The physical, emotional, and financial effects of a traumatic brain injury on a family can be overwhelming. Traumatic brain injuries can be the result of the negligence or criminal actions of another, sports equipment or medical malpractice.