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Maple Valley, WA Paralyzed Football Player Settles Injury Case for 14.6M

Posted on Sep 18, 2009
Zachery Lystedt was left paralyzed and permanently disable following injuries suffered during a Mount Tahoma Junior High football game.  Lystedt's family settled its Washington personal injury case against the Tahoma School District for 14.6 million. 

During the football game Lystedt made a tackle that left him unable to get up initially, although he did not lose consciousness.  He was held out of the game until after halftime and then played in the second half of the game.  By the end of the game Lystedt was unsteady on his feet and he collapsed when the game ended.  Lystedt had suffered a concussion on that first hit.  When he play again he injured his brain again, which led to bleeding in the brain.  Lystedt was rushed to Harborview Hospital for brain surgery.  He was in a coma for months and therapy for years.

Lystedt suffered a severe brain injury that left him in a wheel chair and with severe brain damage.  If Lystedt had not been allowed to go back into the football game he would not have suffered the severe brain injuries he did.  Lystedt's case has led to a new law governing concussions in youth sports, the Zachery Lystedt Law.

As a football official for King County area schools I have seen players deliver hits that likely resulted in a concussion to them self or the other player.  The head coach in the past was the one to determine whether a player was okay to play again in a game.  The Zachery Lystedt Law makes it illegal for a school or coach to allow a player back into play after suffering what appears to be a concussion without first getting a signed doctor's or certified athletic trainer's note allowing the player to re-enter the game. 

The Zachery Lystedt Law is the first of its kind in the nation and the first to establish legal guidelines for dealing with sports caused concussions.  Eight other states are looking at adopting similar laws.

Hopefully the Zachery Lystedt Law will help prevent such a tragedgy from happening again here in Washington.

Max Meyers, Esq.

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