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A Trinidad, Colorado jury has found football helmet maker Riddell responsible for 27% of the monetary damages awarded to a high school football player who suffered severe brain damage and paralysis at a practice. The total award was $11.5 million. Several coaches were found to be negligent, but will not have to pay damages, according to the Denver Post. The lawyer who won the case, Frank Azar, will reportedly seek the full $11.5 million from Riddell, according to Yahoo. Azar has several similar cases against the helmet manufacturer. Azar believes the Trinidad decision, which Riddell will appeal, will set a precedent in future cases. More than 4000 former National Football League players have sued the league and Riddell, claiming the league knew about long-term health risks associated with repeated concussions and head trauma, according to the New York Times.

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Comments

Psycholizard April 17, 2013 @ 4:48 p.m.

This is just a start, the helmets also cause broken bones, nerve damage, and soft tissue damage, both for the wearer and those they block or tackle. The pads and shoes also injure needlessly. The irony is that a constant redesigned improvement of their equipment might have been very profitable. The present equipment might very well be banned, that will present an opportunity for increased sales for someone.

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tomjohnston April 17, 2013 @ 5:49 p.m.

Psycholizard this kid got hurt in 2008. All of the helmet manufactures have made multiple design changes since then. Riddell even has a helmet with sensors that sends a wireless signal with data on the intensity of the hits. Wanna buy one for your kid? It's only a grand. I don't see any current equipment being banned.

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Don Bauder April 17, 2013 @ 8:32 p.m.

tomjohnston: Trinidad, Colorado, is a very poor town. Its high school can't afford the kinds of equipment you describe. The same is true of most if not almost all other schools. In any case, high schools should NOT be spending that kind of money on football equipment. They should drop football and concentrate on academics as well as safer sports. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 17, 2013 @ 8:28 p.m.

Psycholizard: It is important that the NFL and Riddell pay a very substantial penalty -- emphasis on VERY, because 18 of the 32 NFL owners are billionaires. The league could pay the typical fine in such cases out of its petty cash fund. Riddell may be more vulnerable financially. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard April 18, 2013 @ 12:31 p.m.

The helmet and pads are completely wrong, they are hard on the outside and cause injury while they advertise protection. A helmet similar in concept to a boxing glove is needed, they should be weighed and inspected before every game, just as in boxing. A crippling weapon is sold to school children as protection, of course they're liable, if they did this knowingly they are criminal as well. Sad that utter stupidity once again is the best defense.

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Don Bauder April 18, 2013 @ 3:31 p.m.

Psycholizard: Good points. Clearly, there has been negligence by equipment makers, particularly Riddell, the helmet maker. Best, Don Bauder

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