Former Charleston athlete wins $5.8M in brain injury lawsuit against school

A former high school student of the First Baptist School in Charleston successfully sued the school for a brain injury. The brain damage was caused by consecutive concussions, acquired while playing basketball on the school team.

When hearing of concussions in sports we always think of high contact sports like Boxing, Wrestling, Hockey and American Football. According to Wikipedia, the highest incidents of Concussions in the United States is in Ice Hockey, (American) Football and Soccer with Basketball much lower down in the list.

American football seems to be the one sport with the most publicity on concussions. The NFL formally reviewed concussions in 1994 with the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) Committee whose goal was to study the effects of concussions and sub-concussive injury in NFL players. There have been multiple lawsuits, controversy, congressional hearings and NFL policies on the effects of concussion injuries and how they can be prevented in the future.

Surprisingly basketball players also have concussion injuries, but it’s not as common as injuries in Hockey, Football or Soccer.

If you or someone you know has suffered a head injury and you suspect it might also be a concussion see a medical professional right away. The symptoms for a concussion are: confusion or feeling dazed, clumsiness, slurred speech, nausea or vomiting, headache, balance problems or dizziness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, sluggishness, ringing in ears, behavior or personality changes, concentration difficulties and/or memory loss.

The student, Brett Baker-Goins, of the First Baptist School of Charleston received a $5.87 million verdict in his lawsuit after he suffered two sports-related concussions while playing basketball for the school.

After suffering his first concussion injury Baker-Goins had headaches, dizziness and cognitive issues. Baker-Goins was treated at the Medical University Hospital, and was diagnosed with a sports related concussion. When Baker-Goins returned to school he was put on the South Carolina Independent School Association’s “return to play protocol.” Baker-Goins’ attorneys argued that he was rushed through the “return to play protocol process. Five weeks after the first injury Baker-Goins suffered another concussion injury. The second injury caused a permanent Traumatic Brain Injury that delayed Baker-Goins’ education, emotional and social development. The school should have made sure Baker-Goins completely recovered from his first concussion before allowing him to play basketball for the school.

According to Cogan & Power, P.C “Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) most commonly occur from external force to the head or neck that disrupt the normal functioning of the brain. Typically, these types of brain injuries occur as a result of construction accidents, slips and falls, workplace accidents, and assaults. Not all forces produce the same level of damage.”

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.