Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Teen’s Football Brain Injury

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a Washington state high school, staff members and a doctor, after a teen died following repeated blows to the head suffered while playing football. 

The complaint was filed by the family of Drew Swank, who died in 2009 from multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Defendants named in the lawsuit include Valley Christian School, it’s administrator, football coach and a doctor who treated him following one of the first injuries.

According to allegations raised in the football brain injury lawsuit, Swank initially suffered a concussion during a game on September 18, 2009. He was experiencing severe headaches, but was not examined by the school’s staff. However, his own family doctor determined he was suffering from a concussion as a result of the game and restricted him from playing football.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

By the middle of the next week, Swank indicated that the headaches were gone and his doctor lifted the restriction, allowing him to play football again. Although he was subsequently observed to be playing poorly and sluggishly, the school kept him in the game. The lawsuit claims that at one point the head coach, Jim Puryear, grabbed him by the face mask in anger and violently shook his head.

He was later hit by another player, and when he tried to get up he vomited and fell down. Four days later he died from injuries associated with a brain injury and two months later the school disbanded its football program.

The lawsuit alleges the school and its staff failed to properly protect Swank, and accuses his doctor of misdiagnosing the football brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death and permanent disability world wide, with 1.4 to 1.7 million people suffering a the head injuries each year. Such brain damage often result in a victim requiring extensive medical treatment and permanent around-the-clock care.

Although most of the recent media attention has focused on the risk of brain injury among athletes, some of the more common causes include motorcycle and automobile accidents, which account for about 20% of all traumatic brain injuries suffered in the United States.

0 Comments

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

First Gardasil Lawsuit Set For Trial To Begin October 7th in California State Court
First Gardasil Lawsuit Set For Trial To Begin October 7th in California State Court (Posted yesterday)

The first Gardasil lawsuit will go to trial in California state court in October, as a group of cases at the federal level continue to be developed for future bellwether trials that are unlikely to begin until late 2025 or early 2026.

Tepezza Settlement Talks For Hearing Loss Claims Will Commence Next Month
Tepezza Settlement Talks For Hearing Loss Claims Will Commence Next Month (Posted yesterday)

Parties have been directed to meet quarterly for mediation sessions, which will explore the potential for Tepezza hearing loss settlements, as the talks leading up to the first bellwether trials, slated to begin in March 2026.