School District Reaches Settlement with Family of Concussed Player

Nov 10, 2017

The Wake County (NC) school system has reached a settlement with the family of a Rolesville High School (RHS) football player, who died after sustaining a head injury in a 2014 football practice.
Tim Simmons, a system spokesperson, confirmed that “all four individual defendants — the RHS’s athletic director, athletic trainer, and two coaches — have been dismissed from the lawsuit.
“The parties engaged in extensive discovery that led to a clear conclusion that school personnel acted with care and without any fault, which was the basis for filing the motion for summary judgment.”
The incident leading to the lawsuit occurred on Sept. 27, 2014, when Isaiah Langston, then 17, suffered a concussion after a collision with another teammate during a practice.
According to a lawsuit filed by Langston’s family, Rolesville’s failure to properly respond to this concussion led to the teen’s death. In its complaint, the family alleges that while Rolesville’s coaches and staff checked Langston and sat him out for the remainder of practice, they never notified his parents of his injury and subsequently allowed Langston to return two days later to participate in pre-game drills and warm-ups without obtaining any medical clearance. The family alleged that Langston began complaining of head pain during these drills and then collapsed and died shortly thereafter.
In its lawsuit, Langston’s family alleged that Rolesville violated North Carolina’s “Return to Play” laws, which was enacted to prevent concussion-related injuries arising when a youth sports participant returns to play after suffering a concussion.
School officials acknowledged Langston didn’t participate in the concussion protocol and wasn’t cleared to play by any doctor. But they denied that school employees knew that Langston had suffered a concussion or that he had complained of headaches prior to his collapse.
The Langston complaint can be viewed here:


Articles in Current Issue