Dec 15, 2015
Concussion Lawsuit Filed Against Penn. State Assoc.

Two former and one current Lawrence County (Pa.) high school student-athletes are involved in a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). All three plaintiffs have claimed that the organization did not sufficiently protect them from concussions or help them in their recovery.

According to an article posted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the lawsuit aims to settle unspecified financial damages on behalf of Jonathan Hites and Kaela Zingaro, who both graduated from Neshannock High School in 2014, and Domenic Teolis who is currently a senior at Lincoln High School.

Hites and Teolis suffered concussions as freshman football players in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Zingaro sustained a concussion while playing in a softball game in 2014. The lawsuit claims PIAA violated the state law regarding several aspects of concussion management, including: baseline testing; tracking and reporting concussions; and providing resources for student-athletes to seek professional medical care.

Despite these claims, Pennsylvania’s Youth in Sports Safety Act, which was put into place in 2011, does not include those criteria.

“We have to have a player removed and evaluated by someone who is trained in the management, care and treatment of concussions,” Larry Cooper, Head Athletic Trainer at Penn-Trafford High School, chairman of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Secondary School Athletic Trainers’ Committee, and Training & Conditioning’s 2015 Most Valuable Athletic Trainer Award winner, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s the extent of the law.”

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