Football head injury results in $4.4 million settlement

SAN DIEGO Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:47am EST

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SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A San Diego area school district has agreed to pay a $4.4 million settlement to a man who suffered a head injury playing high school football and now must communicate through a keyboard, attorneys said on Friday.

The agreement comes as the problem of head injuries in football has gained prominence due to lawsuits brought against the National Football League by former players complaining of ongoing life struggles from concussions.

Scott Eveland, now 22, was a senior and a linebacker with the Mission Hills High School Grizzlies in San Marcos, a town 30 miles north of San Diego.

He collapsed on the sidelines after playing the first half of a game on September 14, 2007, and was rushed to the hospital where doctors were able to save his life by removing part of his skull. But the heavy bleeding inside his brain caused him extensive damage.

"We are very pleased we were able to get that settlement because it gives Scotty a safety net," said his attorney David Casey Jr.

The San Marcos Unified School District, which oversees the school Eveland attended, did not admit any responsibility in the settlement. The district and attorneys for Eveland released a joint statement on Friday. "Scott Eveland and his family agree that this settlement does not suggest that the professional and hard working coaches, athletic trainers, administrators and staff of the Mission Hills High School intentionally contributed to the unfortunate and tragic accident that occurred during a high school football game," the statement said.

Due to the head injury, Eveland is confined to a wheel chair and he cannot stand or speak, said his principal attorney Robert Francavilla.

He communicates through an iPad or a specially designed keyboard, and someone must support his arm at the elbow so he can do that, Francavilla said.

Earlier this year, more than 20 concussion-related lawsuits brought since August by former players against the NFL were consolidated in federal court in Philadelphia.

The NFL has recently faced a mounting number of suits by former players who contend they suffer long-term effects from head injuries. League officials have sought to crack down on helmet-to-helmet hits, and in 2010 the NFL created a committee to try to prevent and better manage concussions.

(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Bohan)

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Comments (2)
duard wrote:
This article is meant to enrage rather than report. The coaches sent him back into the game after he asked to be taken out because of head pain. The school not taking responsibility will ultimately cost the community more damage than the 4.4 mil.. One way of proving to the students that the school district cares about their safety is to prosecute the coach for assault, so he can rehabilitate himself, instead of sweeping under the rug w/ cash. Stop exploiting kids for you own financial gain, taxpayers and politicized school districts.

Mar 10, 2012 10:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
It is a sorry thing, that the coaches did the wrong things with this kid . . . They are responsible, but then, Football is more important than the kid’s safety.

On the other hand, this sort of thing is going to kill football and other contact sports as we know them! Enjoy them while you can, because political correctness is going to make them too expensive to play and it won’t be long either . . . The players (and for high school, the parents also), will have to sign a 50 page “waiver” from now on, in order to play.

Mar 10, 2012 5:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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