Pamela Educates the California State Assembly of the Impact of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
Pamela Tahim Thakur Educates the California State Assembly of the Impact of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy on Families and the Inadequacy of State Tort Law
On October 3, 2023, the Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, and Tourism of the California State Assembly (the “Committee”) held an informational hearing on youth tackle football with the purpose of addressing how to improve athlete safety. The reason for the hearing was to hear testimony of the merits of Assembly Bill (“AB”) 734, which was introduced this year by Assemblymember McCarty. If passed, AB 734 would prohibit tackle football for youth under the age of 12.
Pamela Tahim Thakur of Thakur Law Firm, APC was asked to testify on the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”) on families and the ability, or lack thereof, of current State law to address the issue, based on her unique and personal experience with clients who have likely suffered from CTE. Testifying in support of AB 734, Pamela recounted her experience representing four former UCLA football players against UCLA and the coaching staff in connection with the players’ allegations that the coaching staff ignored concerns for their health and safety, including by insisting that they return to play while still injured. Throughout the course of the representation, two of the players exhibited symptoms consistent with CTE, which is a brain disorder caused by repeated head injuries that results in degeneration and is only diagnosable with certainty postmortem. Because of the disregard for the players’ physical well-being, their injuries were exacerbated, including through concussions, and two attempted suicide.
While representing these players, Pamela witnessed firsthand the effects of repeated head trauma to the players unfold. Unfortunately, as Pamela testified, these individuals will never be the same as they were before. Pamela explained to the Committee that no amount of monetary damages suffice to restore victims of CTE to their former selves. Tort law is inherently retrospective, which does little to ameliorate the effects of injuries that are lifelong yet undiagnosable while living. It is for this reason that Pamela expressed her support for AB 734, which will, if passed, at least provide a guardrail for California’s children against the danger of head trauma that naturally accompanies tackle football. After all, if such trauma derailed the lives of adult men playing for UCLA, how much more dangerous is tackle football for children younger than 12?
Thakur Law Firm passionately advocates for the health and safety of student athletes. In addition to personal injury matters, Thakur Law Firm represents clients with diverse needs, including with transactional work and complex litigation, in business law, employment law, estate planning, family law, healthcare law, PACA law, public interest and nonprofit law, real estate law, and social media law. For more information please visit https://www.thakurlawfirm.com/.