Jury awards Iowa HS football player nearly $1 million in head injury case

Tuesday May 12th, 2015

An Iowa jury awarded a former high school football player a total of $990,000 after he sued the school for damages in its response to his head injuries, reports the Des Moines Register

The attorney for now 18-year-old and former Bedford High player Kacey Strough said that he had a pre-existing condition called cavernous malformation that bled after he suffered a head injury during a game. 

The attorney, Tom Slater, says the school allowed Strough to keep practicing and participating in games.

The original lawsuit, filed in 2013, addressed allegations of bullying, but that part of the lawsuit was not discussed during the week-long trial. 

Strough was not awarded punitive damages, but received more than $140,000 in past medical expenses, and $850,000 in additional damages for pain and suffering, loss of mind and body and loss of future earnings. 

Jurors found the school district and school nurse Andrea Schuelke were negligent when they failed to notify coaches of Strough’s potential brain injury and to make sure he was receiving follow-up care.

Strough underwent surgery to remove a blood clot near the brainstem in November 2012. He has permanent injuries and now uses a wheelchair.

Iowa passed a concussion law in 2011 that stipulates a player must be removed immediately from a playing field if he/she exhibits symptoms of a head injury. That player cannot return to the field unless he/she has a written clearance from a licensed health care provider.

- Scooby Axson

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