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April 2013 Archives

Federal court judge to hear NFL concussion suits

Wisconsin and much of America has had a long term affinity with the game of football. In Wisconsin, football is popular in its youth leagues, high schools, and colleges. It is a major source of revenue for the state's major colleges and universities, and the NFL presence in Wisconsin is legendary. In recent years, however, much more attention has been given to head injuries and chronic conditions that result from repeated impacts to the head and neck. It is a major source of concern athletes and to families with children or members who play at any level. Incidents involving a brain injury in particular have been cited in several well-publicized incidents of suicide and violent behavior by NFL players. A case now pending in a federal court seeks to have more than 4,000 lawsuits by former NFL players heard by juries, removing these cases from the arbitration process contained in the NFL collective bargaining agreement with its Players Association. The NFL suits mirror concerns in the news in recent years and contend that the NFL has done too little to inform and protect players.

Top causes of fatalities in distracted driving accidents

In an effort to prevent wrongful death and better understand the causes of fatal car accidents in Wisconsin and throughout the nation, Erie Insurance studied police data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The insurance company also worked with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when analyzing the data. The information gathered on automobile accidents came from police reports that listed an officers' judgement of the cause of the crash.Compiling statistics of fatal car accidents based on the impression of a police officer may be more accurate than asking those involved in the accident because they are less likely to be completely forthcoming about the crash. One of the more alarming statistics gathered by the insurance company was the fact that one in 10 fatal crashes that occurred in the United States last year were due to distracted driving. Of those crashes where distracted driving was determined to be the cause, 62 percent were due to a driver being "generally distracted," or lost in thought.

Accused hit-and-run accountant pleads not guilty

The owner of Brookfield's Thomas J. Rhoda & Associates accounting firm stands accused of injuring a female pedestrian with his Mercedes in a car accident and causing her serious bodily harm in the process. Witnesses at the scene of the July 15, 2012, accident claim that the woman was struck at a roundabout between Barker Road and North Avenue around 7:39 p.m. and that the car kept driving without ever stopping. The woman was discovered with injuries to her face, head and hips, and emergency medical professionals transported her to a local hospital.The victim required medical treatment for skull fractures, a broken pelvis and cranial lacerations that had to be stapled closed. At the scene of the crime, police investigators discovered damaged parts from the Mercedes, and the accused man's attorney later contacted Brookfield police to let them know that he would remit himself into police custody the next morning along with the car. Although the owner of the accounting firm did show up as promised, he refused to answer police questions without his lawyer, and he later pled not guilty to the hit-and-run charges. He is currently free on $1,000 bond.

New guidelines developed for dealing with sports concussions


The American Academy of Neurology has recently published new guidelines for dealing with the diagnosis of concussions suffered due to sports injuries. Medical professionals in Wisconsin can find these new guidelines in the American Academy of Neurology's online medical journal, "Neurology," in the March 18 issue. The goal of these new protocols is to reduce brain injury related to sports accidents.According to the findings of the study to create the new recommendations, football and rugby carry the greatest risk of concussion to players with soccer and hockey being the next most likely. There is no particular football helmet that is more or less likely to prevent a concussion, but it is important that headgear fit well. Sports players who have had a concussion before are at a higher risk of developing another concussion in the days following an injury, and they also may have a longer recovery time.

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Mudge Porter Lundeen & Seguin, S.C.
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Hudson, WI 54016

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