Helmet maker sued for obstruction of pa Highschool soccer participant

WILLIAMSPORT – The parents of a former Jersey Shore Area High School football player who was handicapped by a helmet-to-helmet hit in 2018, claim their son’s serious brain injury was caused by defective equipment.

Danielle M. and Jacob Leone alleged Riddell Inc., BRG Sports Inc., Riddell Sports Group Inc., and All American Sports Corp. in a lawsuit brought before the US Middle District Court on Monday. were aware of the shortcomings and had not done anything about it.

The Leones claim that their son Caleb, then a senior defender who is now 20 years old, was wearing a Riddell helmet when he was injured during a soccer training session on August 14, 2018.

He was flown to Geisinger Medical Center near Danville, where part of his skull was removed to aid the healing process. He was in a coma for almost two months and his parents said it was Touch and Go for nine days.

Complications he endured included lung suction, pneumonia, blood pressure problems, and a stroke.

His football conditioning kept him alive, his father said the doctors told them.

After 22 days at Geisinger, his parents moved Caleb to the Penn State Hershey Children’s Center for rehabilitation.

He stayed there except for a brief period in November 2018 when Geisinger’s doctors replaced the part of his skull that had been removed.

Five of Caleb’s motor skills have been damaged and the right side of his body is malfunctioning, his mother said.

He is wheelchair bound, continues therapy, speaks a little now but not with clarity, and is participating in a life skills program at school, his father said.

According to the lawsuit, Leone’s injuries are permanent and he will require 24/7 care for the rest of his life.

“Caleb’s accident took a toll on the whole family,” said Danielle Leone a few months after the injury. It was a challenge, ”she said, noting that there were days when he couldn’t hold his head up.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence and failure to design, manufacture and test a football helmet that would adequately protect the brains of adolescents.

They are also accused of marketing a helmet without proper instructions for use and without warning of the dangers.

The Leones are seeking unspecified and punitive damages in excess of $ 75,000.

The complaint alleges that BRG Sports is a holding company that owned or operated the two Riddell companies and All American Sports. The latter is based in Ohio and the others in Illinois.

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