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Multiple congressional fronts on concussions

The Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday, Sept. 16, passed out H.R.1347, the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act, sponsored by the subcommittee's chairman, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Pallone's news release is here. The bill now goes on to the full committee, which is chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).

Now, this Thursday, Sept. 23, the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on a separate bill, "H.R___, Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act.

As we've previously observed, there's a lot of Congressional activity on this issue, rising almost to the level of web activity of the personal injury attorneys. (This, for example.)

Then this law firm's website, which really stands out, featuring an account of a $3 million verdict for a high school football player who sued for a brain injury. Readers are greeted with a pop-up window: "Hi...You may just be browsing but we are available to answer your questions. Click 'Yes' for live help."

Interesting note from the account of the litigation: "To avoid issues of sovereign immunity, suit was filed against the coaches and administrator as individuals." There's so much litigation that can be spread around: coaches, doctors, sports equipment manufacturers. And Congress is legislating in ways that can only increase that liability.

Schools have already removed playgrounds for fear of litigation. Could high school sports be next?

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.