Suit filed against FIFA in California court

A new class action suit was filed against the Federation Internationale de Football Association and several soccer associations in the United States. Rather than seeking monetary damages, the suit hopes to establish a medical monitoring program for soccer-related concussions and change the rules to better cope with these injuries.

The lawsuit was originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. According to an attorney representing the plaintiffs, changes that the medical community had called for over ten years ago were never put into place. There is a concern that the leagues put the players at a needless risk because of current policies. One of the main issues in the case is whether the defendants, which also include American Youth Soccer and U.S. Youth Soccer in addition to FIFA, knew about changes that could be made and failed to properly adopt them.

One of the allegations made in the complaint is that players who have possibly suffered a concussion are expected to self-diagnose their own brain injuries. Some of the changes that the plaintiffs wish to see include the requirement of a medical professional to evaluate whether the injured player should stay in the game. These changes would also diminish the power that referees have to determine whether players stay on the field following an injury.

Suffering a brain injury can be physically and emotionally traumatizing, and such injuries could cause cognitive impairment and personality changes. In some cases, problems that develop after a head injury might not be immediately noticeable. Those who have suffered serious head trauma due to the negligent actions of another could consult an attorney to see if legal remedies are available.

Source: Forbes, “Class Action Concussion Lawsuit Filed Against FIFA And U.S. Soccer Associations“, Darren Heitner, August 27, 2014

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