A San Diego-area school district has agreed to a $4.4 million settlement with a former high schooler who suffered a head injury while playing football and now must communicate through a keyboard, according to a MSNBC article.
The terms of the settlement agreement were announced last Friday and adds to the growing list of debilitating injuries resultant from playing football. This includes the list of current lawsuits brought by former NFL players whose careers were cut short by head injuries.
Scott Eveland, now 22, was a senior and a linebacker at Mission Hills High School Grizzlies in San Marcos, California, some 30 miles northeast of San Diego when his football career ended and his life changed forever.
Eveland's injury occurred in what one would assume was an average HS football game. Unfortunately the game was anything but average as he collapsed after finishing the first half of his team's week 3 game back in September of 2007.
After collapsing, he was rushed to the hospital where doctors were able to save his life by removing part of his skull. Yet, the doctor's could not prevent future damages as extensive bleeding inside his brain caused him to suffer severe and permanent injuries to his brain.
"We are very pleased we were able to get that settlement because it gives Scotty a safety net," said Eveland's attorney David Casey Jr.
Although it agreed to settle, the San Marcos Unified School District, was careful not admit any responsibility.
"Scott Eveland and his family agree that this settlement does not suggest that the professional and hard working coaches, athletic trainers, administrators and staff of the Mission Hills High School intentionally contributed to the unfortunate and tragic accident that occurred during a high school football game," attorneys for both sides said in joint statement Friday.
Because of the head injury Eveland suffered almost 5 years ago, he is now relegated to a wheelchair and he cannot stand or speak, his attorney Robert Francavilla said .
He now communicates through an iPad or a specially designed keyboard. But, he requires aid in doing so, as someone must support his arm at the elbow so he can successfully communicate.
Eveland's mother, Diane Luth, sued the district on behalf her son after the incident that happened on its watch back in September 2007.
"The care that we have to give Scotty, it's something I would not wish on any person, anybody's family," Luth said.
A former student at Mission Hills HS alleged that the team's head coach ignored signs that Eveland was in distress.
In addition, an assistant student trainer, Breanna Bingen, said that warning signs concerning Eveland's condition were ignored by school employees, according to a deposition acquired by NBCSanDiego.
In her deposition, Bingen said that Scott complained to the team's athletic trainer about having headaches and had to sit out parts of practice as a result just a week before sustaining permanent injury.
She also said that mere minutes before Eveland asked his Coach to let him sit out the first quarter because his head hurt Coach Hauser refused to take him out.
Although the settlement does not affirmatively acknowledge that the school was intentionally responsible for Eveland's injuries, it tends to point towards the likelihood that the school district probably realized that it was at fault here.
And thus, continuing the litigation may have revealed that, which ultimately prompted the settlement.
I just hope that the $4.4 million dollar award is enough to support Scott Eveland for the remainder of his lifetime.
What do you think?
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