Concussions and brain injuries in sports have taken the legal spotlight in the past few years. Parents and student-athletes, along with coaches, administrators, and politicians, are becoming more aware of the dangers of brain injuries resulting from sports.
As a brain injury attorney serving Northern Mississippi and the Memphis metro area, I too have kept a close eye on any news or studies pertaining to brain injuries in athletics, such as the long-term effects of such injuries and the roles of coaches, trainers, doctors, parents, and the athletes themselves in overall player safety.
A recent article from ESPN caught my attention, highlighting a boxer who died of a brain injury on Oct. 23 after suffering a brutal knockout.
Junior featherweight Francisco “Frankie” Leal died from the brain injury after suffering an eighth-round knockout loss on Oct. 19 to Raul Hirales. The fight took place in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and was broadcasted across United States.
In the final minutes of the eighth round, Hirales connected with Leal’s head, knocking him down. Leal was taken from the ring on a stretcher and soon slipped into a coma. He was admitted to a hospital in Cabo San Lucas but was later transferred to San Diego, where he died.
Some are questioning whether Leal should have been fighting at all, having suffered another severe knockout in March 2012.
This case is truly saddening, as it illustrates the devastating effects—death in this instance—a brain injury can have on a person, athlete or not.
If you have questions about Leal’s death or have suffered a brain injury yourself, contact an experienced brain injury attorney right away.
Brain injuries are serious matters. The longer you wait to act, the worse the results may become.