The parents of a former high school football player have sued helmet manufacturer Ridell Inc., saying the shock-absorbing padding in the front of the helmet weakened with body heat and caused their son permanent disabilities. Ridell responded by saying that its helmet met all standards for testing at room temperature, though the standards may be inadequate, and that Scott Eveland was injured because he was playing football too soon after suffering a concussion.
Another company involved in the helmet's manufacture settled its lawsuit in the same case for $500,000 and the school district settled for about $4.38 million, according to a case summary posted by the American Association for Justice.
According to the lawsuit, Eveland suffered traumatic brain injuries and had surgery, but complications including seizures and strokes have severely limited his mobility and communication skills. Medical costs have reached $1.5 million and it's estimated it will cost $18 million over his lifetime for medical and life care, the AAJ said.
Eveland's parents said in the lawsuit that if the padding in the front of the helmet had stood up to his rising body temperatures – like the side and back padding, which were made by another company – their son might not have suffered brain damage.