By Ken Reed

Pop Warner, the country’s largest youth football organization, has been slapped with a major class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit says the organization knowingly put young players at risk by ignoring the risks of head trauma.

Ken Belson, in a piece for The New York Times, wrote, “The suit is the biggest sign yet that youth football programs are the next front in the legal battle over concussions.”

The lawsuit was brought by Kimberly Archie and Jo Cornell, whose sons played football as youngsters and were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurological condition linked to repetitive brain trauma, after having died in their mid-20’s. The young men began acting erratically prior to their deaths and suffered from behavioral and emotional problems.

The suit also targets USA Football, the youth football organization of the NFL, and the National Operating Committee on Standards Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), the organization that certifies football helmets. The suit says the three organizations “acted with callous indifference” with regards to player safety.

On another concussion front, lawyers for the estate of former professional football player Cookie Gilchrist have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their appeal of the highly-publicized concussion-related settlement between the NFL and retired players.

The Gilchrist appeal likely won’t be the last legal appeal to the NFL’s concussion settlement with former players. Attorneys for at least two other sets of players have received an extension until September 19th to file separate appeals of the settlement.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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