George Washington’s Law School is re-evaluating its law program, adding a new course that specifically addresses all “legal implications of traumatic brain injuries,” The New York Times reported Sunday.
The addition of the new program follows “the revelations that hits to the head may lead to long-term brain damage,” The New York Times continued. The dangers “have rocked the football world at all levels, alarming coaches, players, and their parents and forcing the N.F.L. and the N.C.A.A. to tighten safety standards.” At least 5,000 retired NFL players (and counting!) have taken legal action against the league, accusing them of purposefully underplaying and hiding concussion risks. Traumatic head injuries are not necessarily uncommon. In fact, 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries every year — or, in other words, roughly 200 people suffer from brain injuries per hour!
A lawyer with over two decades of experience will teach the new course, designed to address concussions and other serious head traumas and injuries. “The first few weeks of the semester describe the anatomy of the brain, the mechanism of a brain injury, and the diagnosis of injuries,” The New York Times explains. The remainder of the course discusses “the epidemiology of brain injuries, how they are defined, and the legal ramifications of those definitions, as well as how some people look for outward symptoms that may not exist, which might affect their ability to be effective jurors.”
The introduction of the new course comes in light of other legal firsts. Indiana passed a law in late March, requiring youth sports coaches — including football coaches — to take concussion identification training. The mandated training will go into affect on July 1.