Former Calif. football player awarded $7 million in lawsuit over concussion aftermath

Rashaun Council after his head trauma injury Photo: KNSD video screen shot) Photo: KNSD video screen shot

Former Calif. football player awarded $7 million in lawsuit over concussion aftermath

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Former Calif. football player awarded $7 million in lawsuit over concussion aftermath


A former high school football player who has been left with lifelong debilitating effects precipitated by an in-game injury and his coaching staff’s inability to correctly diagnose that he had suffered a concussion was handed a whopping $7.1 million settlement.

The settlement brings to an end to a longstanding civil case in Southern California.

Per San Diego NBC affiliate KNSD, it’s expected that 19-year-old former Monte Vista student Rashaun Council will never be able to drive or live by himself because of the after-effects of his on-field injury and failed diagnosis.

Council’s family attorney, Brian Gonzalez, successfully argued that the Monte Vista school district was at fault because: 1) the coaches of Council’s freshman team had failed to complete the state’s mandated concussion training program, and 2) they failed to recognize the clear and obvious symptoms that Council was suffering from a concussion and sent him back into competition rather than putting him in an ambulance bound for a hospital.

“Because of the delay in diagnosis, the delay in treatments, he is forever going to be in the condition he is,” Gonzalez told KNSD. “They continued to play him cause they wanted to win this game. That type of reality should never take the place of protecting our kids.”

How clear were the signs that Council had a concussion? According to KNSD and Gonzalez, here’s what unfolded on the night in question in October 2013:

The suit stems from an October 2013 freshman football game at Monte Vista High School when 14-year-old Rashaun Council started feeling sick and confused.

A concerned teammate even told a coach about the star running and defensive back’s odd behavior, but Council returned to the game and finished on the field according to his family’s attorney.

Council was slumped over and throwing up in the locker room after the game according to attorney Brian Gonzalez, but the coaches never called 911 and he didn’t receive proper medical care until the boy’s father took him to the hospital.

Council’s brain had already started to swell requiring emergency surgery and he was later placed in a medically induced coma.

Since those injuries, Council has had to take a full year off to recover from his injuries and has now transferred to Clairemont, where he is part of a program for survivors of traumatic brain injuries. Each step forward toward his previous life for Council now will serve as a major accomplishment, and the $7.1 million he’s now been awarded should help him accomplish as much as he can.


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