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Nationwide Class Action Filed over Youth Soccer Head Injuries

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Seattle, WA: A personal injury and negligence class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of several current and former soccer players against soccer' worldwide governing body, FIFA, and affiliated soccer organizations in the United States including U.S. Youth Soccer and American Youth Soccer, leagues responsible for over three million child and adolescent soccer players in the United States, for allegedly failing to incorporate up-to-date guidelines into their concussion policies.

The suit states that no rule limits headers in children' soccer, and children are often taught to head the ball from the age of three. A dedicated youth player might sustain 1,000 headers per year, and a high school player more than 1,800 headers.

The lawsuit seeks the following:

Require FIFA and its U.S. affiliates to implement up-to-date guidelines for detection of head injuries and for return to play after a concussion.

Regulation of heading by players under 14 years old.

A rule change to permit substitution of players for medical evaluation purposes.

The lawsuit alleges that these groups have failed to adopt effective policies to evaluate and manage concussions, a common occurrence at all levels of the game. They also claim that a lack of effective policies poses a greater danger to women and children players, who are more vulnerable to traumatic and long-lasting brain injury.

Plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

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