Sports equipment manufacturer Riddell has been developing its highly promoted football helmet for nearly ten years, which was touted to be designed to reduce the possibility of concussions in players. The new helmet, named Revolution, became the most widely used helmet in the NFL and earned millions in sales to colleges, high schools, and youth leagues.
As early as 2000, Riddell received a warning. Outside researchers hired by the NFL found that no football helmet, no matter how “revolutionary”, can prevent concussions or brain injury.
The report showed that even if a helmet met industry safety standards to prevent skull fractures, players are exposed to a 95% likelihood of receiving a concussion from strong blows during practice sessions and games.
Even though Riddle knew their claims were false, they continued to market their helmet as protection against concussions according to a recent Colorado lawsuit. The manufacturer promoted the Revolution in its marketing materials by saying that players wearing its helmet are 31% less likely to suffer a concussion. Some members of Congress along with leading brain injury experts have weighed in stating that these claims are an exaggeration.
Riddell and the NFL are being sued by thousands of former professional players in the major brain injury lawsuit. In the complaint, the plaintiffs charge that Riddell failed to warn them that its helmet would not protect against concussions. In a separate Colorado case, Riddell was found liable for $3.1 million awarded to the family of a high school football player who was seriously injured after a concussion in a scrimmage practice.
Last Friday, a California jury heard a partially paralyzed player’s attorney state that the company ignored information that could have made their helmets safer. This product liability lawsuit is asking for $25 million to provide life-long care for the injured football player.
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