Plaintiffs sue PIAA, saying not enough done to prevent concussions

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lawrence County judge has allowed a class action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association to move forward.

Three plaintiffs are suing the PIAA, claiming they have suffered head injuries while playing high school sports. They allege that omissions by the PIAA worsened the effect of the initial trauma and increased the risk of secondary injury.

The trio says they have ongoing medical issues, including trouble focusing, eyesight problems and headaches. The attorneys representing the plaintiffs say thousands of current and former students could be affected by the organization’s failure to protect students against head injuries.

Melissa Mertz is the associate athletic director of the PIAA. She says they have had safety protocols in place since 2010, and coaches are required to take courses annually to help manage athletes who have has suffered a concussion.

“We are confident in defending this case,” Mertz said. “We will prevail.”

Mertz says the PIAA requires students and parents to sign off on the fact they are familiar with the risk of concussions before they participate in activities.

The judge allowed the case to go forward as a class action suit, which means other students can join the suit.

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