hospital

Taylor Martino resolves medical malpractice case

The law firm of Taylor Martino, PC recently resolved a medical malpractice case for a young Mississippi man for a confidential amount. The young man entered a hospital with an abscessed tooth and left the hospital with brain damage. The patient entered the hospital because he began experiencing breathing problems due to swelling. A medical care provider at the hospital breached the standard of care when he/she attempted in intubate the patient. The patient experienced a lack of oxygen resulting in hypoxic brain injury. Adequate oxygen is vital for the brain. When oxygen levels are significantly low for four minutes or longer, the brain cells begin to die and after five minutes permanent anoxic brain injury can occur. Anoxic brain injury, which is also called cerebral hypoxia or hypoxia or hypoxic-anoxic injury (HAI), is a serious, life-threatening injury; it can cause cognitive problems and disabilities. 

Taylor Martino, P.C. negotiated and established a life care plan for the client to take care of his future medical needs.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
455 St. Louis Street Suite 2100
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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By Kevin O’Riordan, Business of Soccer

In the newest development in the evolving area of concussion litigation by collegiate and professional athletes, a former Division 1 college soccer player has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA alleging that the NCAA was aware of, but failed to communicate to student-athletes, the health and safety risks associated with repeated concussions and the increased susceptibility of individuals to suffer a concussion after previously suffering concussions.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit against the NCAA, Mary Shelton Bryant Wells, played for Samford University, a Division I soccer program in Birmingham, Alabama, from 2008-10.  Prior to her college career, Wells played soccer for her high school, the Baylor School (Chattanooga, TN), and played club level soccer for the Redoubt Lady Generals.  Wells alleges that during her club career with the Lady Generals, Wells suffered concussions in January 2006 and April 2008.  In May 2010, while playing for Samford University in a game against Mississippi State University, Wells suffered a third concussion in a head-to-head collision with an opponent.  After the injury, Wells alleges that she immediately began showing symptoms of a concussion.  Wells was thereafter medically disqualified from playing soccer.  Wells alleges that she was “neurologically diagnosed with brain injury caused by her third concussion,” and now suffers and will continue to suffer migraine headaches.

Wells filed the suit against the NCAA  on September 30 in Alabama state court alleging a claim under Alabama law for “fraud by suppression.”  The pertinent Alabama law provides that a party may be liable for fraud if that party “[s]uppress[es] . . . a material fact which the party is under an obligation to communicate” to another party.  Under the law, “[t]he obligation to communicate may arise from the confidential relations of the parties or from the particular circumstances of the case.”

Wells alleges that the NCAA suppressed facts relating to and failed to disclose to student-athletes “the serious health risks posed by repeated concussions, including a person’s increased susceptibility to a concussion after having previously sustained a concussion or concussions.”  Wells’s complaint alleges that the NCAA has known for years about a multitude of studies studying and explaining the connection between concussions and the onset of severe health conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, depression and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (“CTE”).  The complaint alleges that the NCAA is and has been aware of the prevalence of CTE in athletes with a history or head trauma, particularly for football players.

Despite that knowledge, Wells alleges that the NCAA failed to make student-athletes aware of the dangers of concussions and repeated concussions.  Wells alleges that in April 2010, the NCAA Director of Health and Safety “admitted that ‘[c]ollege athletes . . . may not understand the consequences of playing with a concussion.’”  Wells claims, however, that the NCAA’s 2010 Health and Safety Group’s one-page “Concussion Fact Sheet” for student athletes “provided no warning to student-athletes regarding the immediate or long-term consequences of concussions, of the consequences of repeated concussions.”

In short, and notwithstanding later measures taken by the NCAA in the form of the Concussion Management Plan in August 2010, Wells claims that the NCAA’s “accumulated knowledge about head injuries to student-athletes, and the associated health risks therefrom, was at all times, and still is, superior to that available to student-athletes.”

Wells further alleges that the NCAA’s relationship to student-athletes required the NCAA to disclose to student-athletes the serious health risks associated with concussions and the increased susceptibility of individuals who suffer concussions to suffer later concussions.  Wells claims that the NCAA “has assumed a duty to NCAA athletes to protect their health and safety.”  Wells alleges that by virtue of the NCAA’s efforts to monitor and ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, both through its constitution and regulations, as well as its public position on health and safety, the NCAA created either a confidential relationship or a special relationship between itself and student-athletes with the accompanying obligation to disclose all material facts necessary to protect student-athletes’ health and safety.

Notably, Wells’s lawsuit is in its infancy; it has been only days since the complaint has been filed.  The NCAA has not had the opportunity to respond, and the litigation is a long way away from seeing a factual record developed.   The NCAA is currently defending concussion-related lawsuits by other student-athletes that played football and hockey, among other sports, and it will be interesting to see the approach that the NCAA takes in the Wells litigation. (Please click to read the complete article by Kevin O’Riordan, Business of Soccer)

 

The NCAA denies suppressing information about concussions to college athletes and says it isn’t responsible for injuries sustained by a former Samford women’s soccer player.

Mary Shelton Wells, who played soccer at Samford from 2008 to 2010, sued the NCAA last September in Mobile County Circuit Court, alleging she would have quit soccer and not sustained a third concussion if the NCAA had not suppressed facts about head injuries. The suit attempts to prove the NCAA knew about past scholarly literature published about the long-term risks of concussions and attacks the NCAA’s concussion management plan.

In its answer filed last month, the NCAA denied that it has known for many years of studies demonstrating that multiple concussions in a football player can cause severe cognitive problems, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.

“The NCAA further affirmatively states that for decades it has provided appropriate information and guidance on concussions to its member institutions, including information to be disseminated to student-athletes,” the NCAA said in its response.

The NCAA applied 45 defenses in response to Wells’ allegations. Among them: the NCAA is not guilty of any allegations in the complaint; Wells’ claims are barred due to her own conduct by continuing to play soccer after having suffered two concussions in high school;  and Wells voluntarily participated in college sports and assumed any and all risks inherent in the sports she chose to play.

The NCAA has been in mediation talks with attorneys from a federal class-action case in the Adrian Arrington lawsuit. Last month, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated many of the federal cases into the Northern District of Illinois. The Wells suit, filed in state court in Alabama, is not part of that consolidation.

The NFL is trying to finalize a $765 million concussion settlement with more than 4,500 retired players — a dollar amount some ex-players have criticized. The players will not have to show their injuries were caused by football.

Anyone who receives the NFL payout can’t sue the NCAA or any youth football organization, according to The Washington Times. Two weeks ago, the first class-action concussion lawsuit involving high schools was filed against the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Wells said in the suit that she now suffers from migraine headaches and is sensitive to changes in light and sound. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

The suit cites many past studies linking head injuries to potentially long term brain damage that Wells says the NCAA knew. For example, she claims the NCAA knew of a 2005 University of North Carolina study that “found a clear link between previous head injuries and the likelihood of developing mild cognitive impairment and early-onset Alzheimer’s,” yet the NCAA did not “act on it or alert its student-athletes of these known risks.”

The NCAA’s response: “The NCAA states that the 2005 UNC-Chapel Hill study titled ‘Association Between Recurrent Concussion and Late-Life Cognitive Impairment in Retired Professional Football Players’ speaks for itself, and to the extent the allegations in Paragraph 62 vary therewith, the NCAA denies those allegations. The NCAA denies any and all remaining allegations in paragraph 62.”

Wells argues that the NCAA’s Health and Safety Group developed a one-page concussion fact sheet for college athletes in 2010 that provided no warning about immediate or long-term consequences of concussions.

The NCAA’s response: “The NCAA states that the 2010 Concussion Fact Sheet speaks for itself, and to the extent the allegations in paragraph 69 vary therewith, the NCAA denies those allegations. The NCAA denies any and all remaining allegations in paragraph 69.”

Wells attacks the NCAA’s concussion management policy in which schools are required to have a plan, but it’s not enforced by the NCAA. The NCAA denied that its concussion management plan legislation from 2010 is “toothless.”

Wells claims the NCAA plan “puts the onus of concussion management on the student-athletes by requiring that they sign a statement in which they accept the responsibility for reporting their injuries and illness to the institutional medical staff, including signs and symptoms of concussions.”

The NCAA’s response: “The NCAA states that the (concussion management plan) speaks for itself, and to the extent the allegations in paragraph 71 vary therewith, the NCAA denies those allegations. The NCAA denies the remaining allegations of paragraph 71 of the complaint and demands strict proof thereof.”

By Jon Solomon | jsolomon@al.com AL.com
on January 09, 2014 at 1:53 PM

 

MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) A former soccer player who lives in Mobile filed a lawsuit against the NCAA last week. Before she even enrolled at Samford University, Mary Shelton Wells, 23, had a history of concussions.

She went on to play soccer for two years at Samford. The lawsuit alleges that the NCAA didn’t do enough to educate her and other athletes on the dangers of concussions.

Wells said Thursday that she still suffers from chronic migraines which often are triggered by bright lights and loud noises.

The attorneys at Taylor Martino representing Wells said they’re in contact with dozens of other former college athletes in our area, many of them football players, who are also interested in taking legal action. Some of them suffer from depression, even dementia because of their past concussions.

Wells never thought that at such a young age, she’d be through with the sport she loves. But a brain injury she suffered in May of 2010 while playing at Samford University, ended her soccer career

“I got to Samford and everything was great. Then at the end of my sophomore year we were playing Mississippi State in the spring and I hit head to head with one of the players. It took me a year and a half to recover from that one,” she said.

It was a year and a half of struggling in school because studying was difficult. She even saw a sports concussion specialist in Michigan. Wells was medically disqualified from playing.

But this wasn’t her  first concussion.

“I had two concussions in high school, one was sophomore year and it happened during club ball,” said Wells.

Now she’s filed suit against the NCAA.

Her attorney, Brad Kittrell, said the governing body of college sports didn’t educate Wells on the dangers of continuing to play soccer, considering her history of concussions.

“The NCAA has for years known about the risks with concussions. Whether they’re football related or any sport. They’ve conducted, had access to and have funded studies. They’ve been in a position to protect student athletes and to educate them and they haven’t done that,” said Kittrell.

He said Wells wouldn’t have played college soccer had she known the suppressed facts about concussions.

“We didn’t understand that with every concussion you get, it takes less impact to get your next one. I would love for there to be education in place, protocols and what not so that other atheletes entering into college play or even younger don’t have to go through what I went through. If there’s a protocol in the universities then high schools are going to implement that protocol,” said Wells.

In August 2010, the NCAA adopted legislation requiring each member institution to have a concussion management plan in place. But that didn’t exist when Wells played.

The NFL recently settled a class action lawsuit for $765 million, which provided compensation to former NFL players coping with the long-term effects of concussions.

Local 15 contacted the NCAA for comment but never got a response.

Story By: Christian Jennings, WPMI Local 15 News
Updated: Thursday, October 10 2013, 07:01 PM CDT

 

Two weeks after the NFL agreed to settle its concussion lawsuit for $765 Million, all eyes have turned to the NCAA and whether it will now settle Arrington v. National Collegiate Athletic Association – the most notable concussion litigation involving the college ranks.

In many ways, the Arrington lawsuit (which is currently in mediation) will be challenging to settle. One reason for this is because the NCAA is composed of 1200 members rather than just 32  — a factor complicates achieving association-wide consensus on a settlement.

Nevertheless, settlement of the NCAA concussion lawsuit seems to be in college sports’ best financial and public relations interests.  At the same time, the NCAA may be interested in settling the case given its recent agreement to mediation.

From a legal perspective, a number of factors seem to make the NCAA’s risk exposure, if it does not settle, far greater than that of the NFL.  For example, the NCAA may owe a greater “duty of care” to its athletes because it purports to exist for the very purpose  “to protect young people from the dangerous and exploitive (sic) athletic practices of the time.”  By contrast, the NFL has generally held itself out as nothing more than a collection of profitmaking businesses.
(Click for Full Article on Forbes.com)

By Marc Edelman
September 12, 2013

 

Injured during a 2009 LeFlore football game
By Derica Williams

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – It was a paralyzing blow. The devastating hit happened in an instant, but Timothy Robinson was told he’d feel the effects for a lifetime.

It’s been three years since the former Leflore High School football player suffered However, the former LeFlore High School football player has made great strides since suffering a sports injury that initially left him in a coma, and he’s making great strides toward his recovery.

His mother Evelyn McGhee said, “Seeing his progress everyday, there is something that he does a little bit different from one day to the next.”

Since suffering a severe injury, Timothy has been undergoing intense physical and occupational therapy.

McGhee added, “They’re working on getting him to strengthen his leg muscles and ankles so he can stand and walk. Trying to get him to think about what he was doing instead of freezing up, and we’re trying to build his confidence.”

Despite adversity, his spirit and enthusiasm haven’t changed.

McGhee said, “He hasn’t wanted to stop his activities he had normally. He had to modify some.”

As Timothy’s progress continues, he’s focusing a lot on speech therapy.

“He’s able to say a few words very clearly. I haven’t ever heard him say too many words. (He says words) like good morning, mama. This morning he said ‘my arm’. I got so excited. It’s the little things, like him standing for a few seconds. I get so excited; it changes my whole attitude helping him get motivated for what he wants to do,” added McGhee.

And he wants to do a lot. With his determination and perseverance, Timothy still plans to overcome his remaining obstacles.

We’re told faith has brought him this far, and will hopefully get him back to 100 percent.

Timothy has plans to enroll at Bishop State this fall.

Right now, he is currently working on a gospel album.

MOBILE, Ala. – This weekend marks the two year anniversary of Timothy Robinson’s devastating injury. The former Leflore football player’s life was seriously altered after being injured during a game. He is permanently confined to a wheelchair. However, the outcome of a recent lawsuit will help his recovery in a tremendous way.

It was a joyous announcement in the atrium of Government Plaza.

Richard Taylor, Robinson’s lawyer, said, “The judge approved Timothy’s confidential settlement with the manufacturer of the helmet that Timothy was wearing in the ball game against Spanish Fort.”

Timothy’s family sued Schutt Manufacturing Company. After reviewing video of the tackle, the lawyer and coaches said it was not an unusual hit, leaving many questioning how Timothy suffered such a severe injury.

“We began an investigation into the helmet, and we were in the process of filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer and found that they were in bankruptcy,” Taylor added.

“We got permission from the bankruptcy court to proceed against the company, and we found that there were five other children across the country who have sustained injuries similar to Timothy’s, wearing the same type of helmet.

“The settlement will help Timothy’s mom Evelyn provide him necessary care. With her husband’s recent passing, Evelyn is the primary caregiver and has taken on extra duties for Timothy. She also had to quit her job. It’s been difficult, and the money comes as a blessing.

“The settlement means to me that I’m not going to be so stressed out with the medical expenses that I would normally have, the incontinent products, things that we normally would have to stress about, the transportation costs,” Evelyn McGhee said.

“It does ease the burden for the everyday financial situation.” Timothy has already come a long way with the resources he has and now will propel even further.

“It’s helped a lot, especially with the communications device with the power chair. It gives him that sense of independence that Tim longs for, and it provided us the opportunity for us to be able to communicate with him better. It also will give him the opportunity to go to school,” added McGhee.

When asked how he’s feeling about the settlement, Timothy responded, “It means that the healing process can begin. Hopefully, I’m able to release my CD and able to go off to college.” Hope and perseverance have gotten him this far, and this settlement should help him fulfill his dreams. The settlement was obtained for all six injured children.

Injured high school football player awarded settlement: fox10tv.com

 

Football Player Timothy Robinson To Receive Settlement From Helmet Co.

(Mobile, Ala.) – A Mobile Circuit Judge will issue a final ruling in a confidential settlement of a lawsuit Friday, October 7th at 8:30 a.m. filed on behalf of former LeFlore High School football player Timothy Robinson against Shutt Sports, a company that manufactures helmets. Timothy is the young man who sustained a traumatic brain injury during a 2009 football game between LeFlore High School and Spanish Fort High School. Timothy is permanently confined to a wheelchair and has limited use of his limbs. Timothy, his mother, and attorneys with the firm Taylor Martino will hold a news conference following the court’s ruling, Friday, October 7th at 9:30 a.m. in the atrium of Government Plaza.

Timothy’s mother, Evelyn McGhee, says news of the impending settlement is welcome, but she wasn’t expecting anything. “To know that Tim will be protected and have money to do what he needs and wants to do is a blessing,” she said. Evelyn and her late husband have been Timothy’s primary care givers. With her husband’s recent passing, Evelyn has taken on added duties caring for Timothy and she hasn’t been able to work. “This settlement will allow me to hire extra help to care for Tim, and not have to worry about how to pay for his transportation and medical costs. I’ll also be able to return to my job.”

Timothy was hurt in the last 30 seconds of the October 9, 2009 LeFlore – Spanish Fort football game when he tackled a Spanish Fort player near the end zone. When he went down, Timothy couldn’t get up. Timothy spent months undergoing rehabilitation in Atlanta, Georgia at Shepherd Center and continues his physical therapy in Mobile. He’s still unable to stand or perform personal hygiene without assistance. However, Tim is able to communicate with a special laptop computer that speaks for him.

Evelyn says that despite her son’s injuries and limited mobility, he is outgoing and loves to attend Bible study classes.   She also says Tim’s greatest wish is to go to a New Orleans Saints football game to watch his favorite player, Mark Ingram.  Evelyn says she hopes she can make that wish come true for Tim.

* UPDATE *

Injured high school football player awarded settlement

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – This weekend marks the two year anniversary of Timothy Robinson’s devastating injury. The former Leflore football player’s life was seriously altered after being injured during a game. He is permanently confined to a wheelchair. However, the outcome of a recent lawsuit will help his recovery in a tremendous way.

It was a joyous announcement in the atrium of Government Plaza. Richard Taylor, Robinson’s lawyer, said, “The judge approved Timothy’s confidential settlement with the manufacturer of the helmet that Timothy was wearing in the ball game against Spanish Fort.” Timothy’s family sued Schutt Manufacturing Company. After reviewing video of the tackle, the lawyer and coaches said it was not an unusual hit, leaving many questioning how Timothy suffered such a severe injury. “We began an investigation into the helmet, and we were in the process of filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer and found that they were in bankruptcy,” Taylor added. “We got permission from the bankruptcy court to proceed against the company, and we found that there were five other children across the country who have sustained injuries similar to Timothy’s, wearing the same type of helmet.” The settlement will help Timothy’s mom Evelyn provide him necessary care. With her husband’s recent passing, Evelyn is the primary caregiver and has taken on extra duties for Timothy. She also had to quit her job. It’s been difficult, and the money comes as a blessing.

“The settlement means to me that I’m not going to be so stressed out with the medical expenses that I would normally have, the incontinent products, things that we normally would have to stress about, the transportation costs,” Evelyn McGhee said. “It does ease the burden for the everyday financial situation.”

Timothy has already come a long way with the resources he has and now will propel even further.

“It’s helped a lot, especially with the communications device with the power chair. It gives him that sense of independence that Tim longs for, and it provided us the opportunity for us to be able to communicate with him better. It also will give him the opportunity to go to school,” added McGhee.

When asked how he’s feeling about the settlement, Timothy responded, “It means that the healing process can begin. Hopefully, I’m able to release my CD and able to go off to college.”

Hope and perseverance have gotten him this far, and this settlement should help him fulfill his dreams.

The settlement was obtained for all six injured children.

Injured high school football player awarded settlement: fox10tv.com