By Dr. Kevin Boully:
Did you believe in 2001 that a concussion could cause significant future health problems? Do you believe it today? If there is a difference, it is probably due to the attention brought by current trends in concussion litigation.
Reports and concerns over the health risks related to concussion injuries in all levels of sport seem to reach new heights with every 24-hour news cycle. Managing concussion risk in recreational activity is now a public health issue and a litigation hotbed. Public officials and lawmakers are involvedi with new legislation proposed last week. Former athletes injured playing sports are looking for answers. Sports leagues, teams, coaches, school districts, governing organizations, product makers and more are no longer on the sidelines – they are defendants. When the family of former professional hockey player and known “enforcer” Derek Boogaard recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the National Hockey League (NHL), the NHL joined the National Football League (NFL) among a host of others being sued by former players making a variety of claims from failure to warn of concussion risks to negligence and more.
Our 2012 National Juror Survey focused on potential jurors’ perceptions of concussion injuries and concussion litigation, finding that most surveyed in 2012 saw a severe concussion as likely to cause future health problems, 32 percent reporting that high school athletes are most vulnerable to health problems related to concussion and 30 percent reporting that professional athletes are most vulnerable.
Persuasion Strategies National Juror Survey (2012)
(Click to see full-sized chart)
Use time-restricted visuals (including but not limited to timelines) to focus jurors on the risk information that was known at the time decisions were made, and encourage jurors to see the evidence as the defendant perceived it in the real-world.
Level the Playing Field
iii As provided in a press release by the Association for Psychological Science retrieved at http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/i-knew-it-all-along-didnt-i-understanding-hindsight-bias.html