A former high school football linebacker has settled a lawsuit against the school district where he used to play for $4.4 million. Scott Eveland, now 22 years old, suffered traumatic brain injury during a 2007 game that left him confined to a wheelchair, able to communicate only through a specially-designed computer keyboard or iPad. He had previously settled a suit against the company that manufactured his helmet. His suit against the school district alleged negligence on the part of coaching staff for ignoring or failing to recognize his injuries prior to the game.
On September 14, 2007, Eveland reportedly asked the school’s athletic trainer if he could sit out the first quarter of a game, complaining of a severe headache that had already caused him to miss some practice. A student trainer who claimed to be present testified at a deposition in 2010 that she heard the trainer relay the request to the coach, and heard the coach respond, using an expletive, that only he would decide who would or would not play in the game. In deposition testimony, both the coach and the trainer denied having this conversation.
Eveland started the game, but only played for thirty minutes before collapsing on the field. After he was rushed to the hospital, he required emergency surgery to remove part of his skull. He spent several weeks recovering in the hospital, but unfortunately the bleeding in his brain had caused excessive damage. He can only communicate by typing on a specialized keyboard, and he requires help supporting his elbow to do that.