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National Football League concussion lawsuit: what it means for other sports and observations from Singapore Rugby
  1. Dinesh Sirisena1,2,
  2. Joy Walter3,
  3. Joanne Probert1,2,4
    1. 1Sports Medicine Centre, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Yishun, Singapore
    2. 2Singapore Rugby Union, Singapore, Singapore
    3. 3Asian Rugby, Singapore, Singapore
    4. 4Emergency Department, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore, Singapore
    1. Correspondence to Dr Dinesh Sirisena, Dinesh.sirisena{at}

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    With the upcoming fifth International Conference on Concussion in Sport taking place in October 2016, the management of concussion in athletes will again be under increased scrutiny. However, it has rarely left the spotlight with 58 articles published in BJSM alone between 2012 and 2016!

    Legal precedent

    An off-field event fuelling this continued interest has been the American NFL players’ lawsuit; a group of retired NFL athletes won a US$900 million out-of-court settlement from the organisation, stating they were not warned about brain injury risk and that cases were hidden from them. Upheld by the court of appeals, there are calls to include players with chronic traumatic encephalopathy in this decision. This may set a new legal precedent, and already another lawsuit has been filed by American footballers against the National Collegiate Athletic Association on similar grounds.

    Media influence

    Media attention on the concussion lawsuit in America highlights the potential medico-legal sequelae if concussion is (or is perceived to be) inadequately detected or managed. Commentary by …

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    • Twitter Follow Dinesh Sirisena at @sport_med_doc and Joanne Probert at @probertjo

    • Collaborators Teoh, C S.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.