Just this week, the Illinois High School Association has asked the Cook County Circuit court to throw out a class-action concussion lawsuit filed by former high school football players. In the 16-page motion, the IHSA calls the suit "a misguided effort that threatens high school football," and says a legal effort of this scope could possibly end high school football programs statewide.
As reported by bnd.com, the suit was filed late last year and has inspired counter arguments from several education officials. They claim that the lawsuit asks for provisions that could end high school football programs at poorer schools. In their latest motion, they also assert that its 800 schools have already taken proactive measures to prevent head injuries for their student players.
The plaintiffs, however, disagree. The lead plaintiff, Alex Pierscionek claims to have had memory issues after suffering concussions during his time as a South Elgin High School player. He was even once airlifted from the school to a local hospital for these injuries.
The suit does not ask for monetary damages, however-- only for improvements to football programs that would help prevent further injuries. These include having medical professionals present during games and practices and regular health evaluations of all its players.
Resistance from Education Officials
While this certainly isn't the first class-action lawsuit to address football player concussions, it is one of the first to address high school football programs. However, the IHSA motion makes it clear that it does not have the resources of a college or professional program. Plaintiff attorney Joseph Siprut told bnd.com regardless, he was looking forward to "working with the IHSA to craft a solution to the challenges posed by concussions."
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