Los Angeles, CA: A football concussion and brain injury class action lawsuit has been filed against an Illinois high school association claiming a former football player at one of its member schools developed health problems, including memory loss, because of injuries allegedly sustained as a result of playing high school football.
Filed in Illinois state court by Daniel Bukal, the lawsuit claims Bukal played for the Notre Dame College Prep school for four years until 2003. The lawsuit claims that during that time the association failed to put in place policies that would have minimized the kind of concussion injuries Bukal allegedly sustained as a result of playing football. By way of example, the lawsuit claims the association had no policies for schools to follow regarding when to allow injured players to return to the field.
"It is now widely understood and acknowledged that concussions pose serious risks to participants in contact sports, and especially football," Bukal states in his lawsuit. "Among those risks are brain trauma and potentially debilitating long-term brain injuries. But if the problem of concussions in sports is a crisis, then it would be accurate to call the particular problem of concussions in high school sports an epidemic."
The lawsuit alleges that high school football players, who are typically between 14 and 19 years of age, are at a higher risk for lasting injuries as a result of physical trauma sustained during football games and practices, because their brains are still developing.
According to the lawsuit, the Illinois high school association does not have sufficient safety protocols in place to protect players against such injuries. The lawsuit also claims that the association does not require schools to conduct any baseline testing for concussions before and during the season.
Additionally, the lawsuit states that the Illinois high school association does not require any medical professionals to be present at games to monitor the safety of players.
Bukal, who has been a team captain and named an offensive MVP during his time on the team, said he continues to suffer the effects of the multiple concussions he sustained during his four years period as a player. According to the lawsuit, Bukal still experiences migraine headaches and "bouts of light-headedness."
The case is Daniel Bukal v. Illinois High School Association, in the Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois. The case number could not immediately be identified Monday.
Bukal is represented by Joseph J. Siprut and Brandon Cavanaugh of Siprut PC.