College Football Player’s Traumatic Brain Injury Results in $7.5M Settlement

La Salle University in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay a former student and football player $7.5 million for a traumatic brain injury he received on the field.

The football injury settlement was reached with Preston Plevretes, who suffered permanent brain damage during a game in November 2005, while blocking on a punt return. The traumatic brain injury occurred only weeks after Plevretes suffered another concussion during practice, and he alleged that the school negligently permitted him to return to the field without being cleared by a doctor.

As a result of the brain damage caused by the second concussion, which occurred before the prior injury resolved, Plevretes now has trouble walking, talking and requires constant care, according to a story in the Philadelphis Inquirer. He is undergoing therapy to relearn how to speak.

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Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death and permanent disability world wide, with 1.4 million people suffering a traumatic brain injury each year. Such injuries often result in a victim requiring extensive medical treatment and permanent around-the-clock care.

La Salle University dropped their football program shortly after Plevrete’s traumatic brain injury lawsuit was filed, and after the team had an 0-10 season. The school changed its policies after the incident, requiring baseline testing for all athletes and examination by a concussion specialist when a concussion is suspected.

Football concussions have generated substantial concerns in recent years over risks players face after suffering multiple traumas over the course of a season and career. Last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league will develop more stringent guidlines about when players can return to the field after suffering a head injury.


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