There will be an increase in head-injury-related insurance claims and lawsuits “in a variety of youth sports and non-professional organized sports leagues,” according to an online article that appeared in today’s edition of Insurance Journal.
From the article:
[Robin] Dusek, a Chicago-based attorney, said insurers should prepare for increasing claims arising from players and their families against non-professional sports leagues, including high school and junior high football, soccer, hockey, rugby and lacrosse.
“We live in a litigious culture. There’s more awareness of this as a problem. I think that’s going to cause more people to take action and make them see it a lot of different ways because deep pockets are always an issue with litigation. I think it’s going to be particularly apparent with youth sports, because a lot of park districts and schools will be protected or protected to some degree by governmental immunity, and so they won’t be a viable target for a lawsuit,” Dusek said.
The claims could impact several lines of insurance, according to Dusek. A medical malpractice claim could arise if a doctor failed to properly diagnosis a head injury and allowed an athlete to return to play. A homeowners’ insurance claim could arise as a result of a coach being sued for his or her alleged role in an injury claim.
“Individual coaches may be sued because a lot of coaches will have homeowners’ policies or other umbrella policies that protect them from liability, or protect their exposure to liability, I should say. Doctors who don’t take the necessary steps to make sure a kid doesn’t have a concussion and then it turns out they have a concussion and they play and they get hit again and maybe have a more lasting impact because of that,” said Dusek.