Concussion, the latest movie by actor Will
Smith, opened in theatres across North America over the recent
holiday season, and has stirred up plenty of discussion about head
injuries. The story behind the movie focuses on the research of Dr. Bennet Omalu, regarding the damage
professional football players in the NFL were suffering from
repeated hits to the head. In 2015, a federal court judge approved
a class-action lawsuit settlement agreement applying
to thousands of NFL players who developed serious medical
conditions as a result of their career-related head trauma.
In Canada, a 2015 Coroner's Inquest in Ontario also
examined the issue of concussion in the context of sport. 17 year
old Rowan Kerry Stringer, the captain of her
Varsity rugby team, passed away on May 12, 2013 after a series of
game related head injuries caused severe swelling to her brain. In
the Stringer Inquest, concussion was described as "an
invisible injury ... often not recognized as being a serious
condition with potentially severe consequences, despite many
initiatives to change this perspective." These consequences
can include (amongst other things) headaches, sensitivity to light
and sound, impaired attention span, mood swings, memory loss, and
Many strides have been made in our understanding of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) since the
events depicted in Concussion. Even still, it can be challenging to
sort out their impact in the context of a personal injury claim.
Plaintiffs may have pre-existing conditions at play that have been
aggravated by an accident. Some victims may even be in denial about
their symptoms, or have no personal insight, while their family
members complain about significant personality changes after a
loved one's trauma.
Neuropsychologists are experts with specialized
training regarding brain structure and systems and their connection
to behaviour and thinking. Neuropsychological testing can be very
helpful in determining the damages a head injury has caused, and
how it may impact a victim's career, home life, and even
If you have sustained a head injury due to someone else's
negligence, it is important to seek out professional help to
determine your rights. In addition to providing you with legal
information and advice, our team of personal injury lawyers may
also set you up for testing with a neuropsychologist or other
experts necessary to prove your claim.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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