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House OKs bill on athletic head injuries

Published February 24, 2012 7:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A bill that dictates procedure and liability in the case of a brain injury during secondary school activities passed through the House Health and Human Service committee in a unanimous vote Friday afternoon.

HB415 requires an amateur sports organization to immediately remove a child from participating in a sporting event if the child sustains a head injury or concussion, and it places the responsibility squarely with the organization.

Lincoln Shurtz, a lobbyist for the Utah League of Cities and Towns, said the bill is a correction of a "huge liability exposure" in the wording of the original law, passed last year. Currently, a city or county is liable based solely on providing a venue, including a city park, for an activity — even if the government entity isn't aware of the responsibility, Shurtz said.