Colorado Jury Awards $11.5 Million Over Helmets and Brain Injury

Lakewood, Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Denver, Boulder, and Nearby Areas

Posted: June 7, 2017

In April 2013, a jury awarded $11.5 million to a Colorado high school football player who suffered a brain injury during practice and is now partially paralyzed. The jury found a helmet manufacturing company partially at fault for failing to properly warn about concussion dangers.

Football player sues for brain injury suffered in high school

In 2008, Rhett Ridolfi suffered a concussion during football practice at Colorado’s Trinidad High School. The Associated Press reports that he was not taken to the hospital for immediate care, but now the 22-year-old man has paralysis on his left side and severe brain damage.

Ridolfi sued his high school coaches and administrators for his injuries, as well as Riddell Sport Inc., which manufactured his football helmet and is the maker of the Official Helmet of the NFL. According to NBC Sports, the jury awarded $11.5 million to Ridolfi, determining that Riddell was negligent in failing to sufficiently warn users about the danger of concussion and the risks of brain injury associated with football. The jury did not find that Riddell’s helmets are defective, though.

The jury determined that Riddell is only 27 percent responsible for Ridolfi’s injuries, so the company is only liable for $3.1 million in damages. Ridolfi’s coaches were found liable for the remaining damages, but as government employees they are immune from paying damages, according to the AP.

Legal remedies for brain injuries caused by negligence

Brain injuries can happen in a variety of circumstances, from getting a concussion while playing football to suffering head trauma in a car accident. Individuals who have a brain injury often need extensive health care treatment and may spend a significant amount of time away from school or work while recovering.

Someone who has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence may be able to obtain compensation for his or her pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages in a lawsuit against the negligent person or company. For example, an individual who caused injury in a car accident by driving without due care for safety may be sued in a personal injury lawsuit, or an auto manufacturer who sold cars with a dangerous defect may be sued in a products liability lawsuit if someone was injured or died from the defect.

If you or a loved one has a brain injury that may have been caused by someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in brain injury cases to discuss your legal options.