Former High School Football Player Sues School Over Double Concussion Effects

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Friday, Nov 29, 2013  |  Updated 7:23 PM EDT
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Former HS Football Player Sues School Over Concussions

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A former West Chester East High School football player is suing his alma mater for assault and battery after he allegedly suffered two concussions and received no care during a 2010 game. The result of which has left him with mental deficiencies, the lawsuit claims.

William Croce filed a civil lawsuit in federal court this week against the West Chester School District seeking damages in excess of $100,000.

Croce, who now lives in Florida, was playing guard in a Junior Varsity home game against Bishop Shanahan High School on Oct. 25, 2010 when he was briefly knocked unconscious following a block, according to the filing. Upon awaking, the then sophomore experienced “severe pain” and went to the sidelines.

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The suit claims none of the coaching or training staff examined Croce or gave him a concussion test after he told the assistant coach his head was “bothering” him. The teen was later put back into the game to play on the kickoff team and when he was hit, Croce was immediately knocked out again.

Croce experienced problems that night and was given an impact text the next day by school staff. The results were below the teen’s baseline, the suit claims.

Suffering from dizziness, headaches, nausea and trouble eating and sleeping, he went to see concussion specialists and an eye doctor, who had trouble finding his retina, and was forced to stay home from school for months, according to the filing.

According to the lawsuit, Croce went from being a honors student to having academic troubles because of the concussions’ effects. His parents allegedly also had trouble getting the school to provide an academic plan to help the teen.

Now 19-years-old, Croce apparently continues to experience effects from the concussions including trouble sleeping, memory loss, cognition, headaches and is unable to wear contacts.

The lawsuit lists two counts – assault and battery and state created danger theory. Croce and his attorney Gregory Stagliano cite the fact that the entire Junior Varsity coaching staff was fired following the double concussion incident as evidence that the school was negligent.

Croce claims he was denied his right to bodily integrity under the 14th Amendment.

The teen’s lawsuit comes months after the National Football League settled with more than 4,500 former players over concussion-related lawsuits for $765 million. That settlement came after a federal judge in Philadelphia forced both sides into months of mediation.


Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

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