Varsity Times Insider

Times reporters blog about high school
sports across the Southland

« Previous Post | Varsity Times Insider Home | Next Post »

Football: Injured North Hollywood student is awarded $2.4 million [Updated]

September 4, 2012 | 10:12 am

A North Hollywood High student who broke his neck during a football tryout in 2008 has been awarded $2.4 million in damages in an arbitration ruling against the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Johnny Rider was 15 when he injured his neck in July 2008 while running into padded bags. He was not wearing any helmet or protective device.

Rider suffered a five-way cervical spine fracture and underwent a laminectomy. He continues to experience pain and will require future surgery.

"With youth and teens returning to school and engaging in competitive sports, we hope that Johnny Rider's case sends a strong message to schools, coaches and parents to make sure that protective gear is always worn," said lawyer Browne Greene in a statement.

“The LAUSD deeply regrets the severe injury suffered by this former student,” said LAUSD General Counsel David Holmquist in a statement. “With this ruling, we hope this settlement will bring some comfort to the injured student and his family.”

According to the LAUSD statement, "The district took several corrective measures to assure this sort of injury does not happen again. Recently, nearly 1,000 coaches district-wide gathered for a mandatory workshop on learning how to help protect student-athletes from concussions in sports. This training was offered by Sports Legacy Institute, a nonprofit group founded to help reduce an athlete’s risk of suffering brain trauma while playing sports."

-- Eric Sondheimer