The family of a former football player who suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing for a North Idaho high school is suing the school district and manufacturer of the boy's helmet for damages.
The Bonner County Bee reports that Bobby Clark played two positions—both offensive and defensive lineman—for the Priest River Lamanna High School Spartans when he was injured in a game against Timberlake High School in September 2011. That's when he was hit and briefly removed from the game, but put back into play. A few plays later, he returned to the sidelines and collapsed.
"He was unconscious, disoriented and obviously suffering from a head injury and/or brain injury," the claim says. The suit was filed—in part against the West Bonner County School District—in Idaho's 1st District Court Sept. 24. The suit seeks in excess of $10,000 in damages for medical costs, lost earning ability and mental suffering. The suit also alleges that helmet manufacturer, Riddell, built a helmet that "was defective and failed to protect" Clark.
In October 2012, Boise Weekly reported on the requirements of a new Idaho law, passed by the 2012 Idaho Legislature that says if an athlete younger than 18 years old "has sustained a concussion or head injury and exhibits outward signs or symptoms of such ... then the youth athlete shall be removed from play." The athlete will only be allowed to return to play once he or she is "evaluated and authorized to return by a qualified health care professional who is trained in the evaluation and management of concussions."
Additionally, Idaho school districts are now required by the Idaho Athletic Association to train coaches to recognize the signs of a concussion.