Riddell Sports Group is a recognized company that specialized in sports equipment specifically for American football. The company was founded by John Tate Riddell. Recently, an Ohio father – Darren Hamblin – filed a lawsuit against Riddell for the death of his son brain injuries that were related to football. His son, Cody Hamblin, played football since he was 8-years-old; he was only 22-years-old when he died. Darren Hamblin claims that the Riddell helmets were responsible for his son’s wrongful death after approximately a decade of playing tackle football. Cody Hamblin’s death occurred five years after the conclusion of his high school football days. He suffered a seizure during a fishing trip with his grandfather; the seizure resulted in Cody falling off the boat and drowning. The autopsy revealed that the seemingly normal, healthy former high school football star suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a brain injury associated with football; unfortunately, CTE can only be identified after the victim’s death. The reason athletes like football players use helmets is to prevent brain injuries like the one that eventually caused Cody Hamblin’s death. The Riddell helmets that Cody Hamblin used throughout his decade-long football career failed to protect him from brain injuries – which are so common in football and contact sports in general. In early May 2019, a judge in Ohio ruled that Riddell will have to face at least five of the six claims made by Darren Hamblin. These claims include wrongful death, design defects, and manufacturing defects, for instance. This ruling has been ground-breaking because it does not involve a professional football player – the only ones who seem to be taken seriously in these types of cases.
Understanding Product LiabilityProduct liability is based on the fact that products should always be safe for consumer use. All companies owe their consumers a duty of care. They must ensure that their products are safe for consumers. To ensure that their products are safe, they must subject their products to extensive tests and inspections; the purpose is to identify and address any hazards before their consumers are harmed in any way. When there are any defects/issues with the product’s labeling, design, or manufacturing, companies are needlessly putting their consumers at risk of harm. When the harm suffered by consumers is directly connected to a defect in the product, victims and their families could hold the company accountable for all the harm caused by the defective product. If you would like to learn more about product liability and your right to file a product liability claim, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance immediately.
Understanding Wrongful DeathWrongful death is based on the fact that deceased victims would not have lost their lives had it not been for the reckless or negligent actions of the liable party. Although it might not seem obvious, wrongful death claims go hand in hand with product liability claims. When companies fail to ensure that their products are safe for consumer use, they are negligently putting their consumers at risk of suffering injuries that could result in death. In wrongful death claims that are related to defective products, it is clear that the deceased victim would be alive if the product was not defective to begin with.
The Father’s Right to Pursue a Claim against RiddellIn the instant discussed above, it is clear that the father of the deceased 22-year-old has the right to pursue a claim. The defects in design and manufacturing that were present in the Riddell helmets that Cody Hamblin used throughout his ten years playing football contributed to his CTE. If the football helmets would have been safe for consumer use, Cody Hamblin would have never suffered a brain injury. If he would have never suffered a brain injury, he also wouldn’t have had a seizure while fishing – and he wouldn’t have drowned. Although a drowning death does not seek relevant to a football injury, there is a clear connection between the brain injury (and the seizure) that the victim suffered and the defective helmets. Because this clear connection exists, the father has the right to pursue a claim against Riddell.
Your Right to Pursue a Claim against Riddell or Other Sports Equipment CompaniesYour right to pursue a claim against a company for a defective product that caused the death of a member of your family is based on negligence. The company had the duty to ensure that all their products were safe for consumer use. Because they failed to identify and address discrepancies in their products prior to making them available for purchased, they breached their duty of care to consumers. The breach of duty led an innocent and unsuspecting party suffering an injury that caused death. When the death of a victim is directly caused by a breach of duty (like making a defective product available for consumer use) victims and their families will have the right t sue – and the right to receive compensation. If you are still unsure of the right that you have to pursue your claim for the wrongful death caused by a defective product, you should seek legal assistance immediately. Speaking with an expert will help you gain a better understanding of your right to pursue a claim.
Understanding the Compensation Available for RecoveryWithout a doubt, recovering monetary compensation- by any means – fill the void caused by the death of a member of your family. Recovering compensation cannot speed up the grieving process or reverse the harm that you and your family suffered. However, recovering compensation can help you and your family to move forward from such a traumatic experience in your lives. Although recovering compensation might not be the main thing on your mind, compensation is a major part in holding liable parties accountable for the harm that they cause. Depending on the specific details of your claim, you will likely be eligible to recover compensation for the claim that you file. Could you really be eligible to recover compensation? How much compensation could you receive? What type of compensation could you be eligible to recover? It is absolutely normal to have these questions regarding the compensation that you might be eligible to recover; however, most of the questions about the specific compensation that you could receive are better reserved for a legal expert. In general, some of the types of compensation available for claimants can include the following:
- Medical expenses – compensation for all the medical costs incurred prior to the victim’s death (including life-saving measures)
- Lost wages – compensation for all the earning that were lost and will continue to be lost due to the victim’s death (includes projected wages)
- Pain and suffering – compensation for the mental and emotional distress directly caused by the victim’s death
- Loss of consortium – compensation for the loss of ability to have a normal family relationship with the deceased victim
- Funeral and burial expenses – compensation for the costs of specific services related to the victim’s death
- Punitive damages – compensation awarded as a form of punishment towards the defendant