Brain Injury Legislation

On May 11, 2011, Representative Todd Russell Platts (R-PA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, in conjunction with the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Task Force members and the Brain Injury Association of America, introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which would authorize $1,000,000 for the development of treatment guidelines for post-acute rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury.
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A recent article in USA Today entitled, “For Brain Injuries, a Treatment Gap,” accurately reports the need for individuals who sustain brain injuries to access medically-necessary rehabilitation of sufficient scope, intensity and duration from licensed professionals in accredited settings to regain the physical abilities and cognitive skills needed to live healthy, independent and satisfying lives. Many brain injury professional are recommending everyone to check their health insurance plan to make sure they’re adequately covered in case of a serious injury.
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The New Jersey Assembly has approved legislation which would make New Jersey the first state in the nation to require helmets for minors while skiing or snowboarding. The bill was sponsored by Assembly Republicans Anthony Bucco, Scott T. Rumana and Nancy F. Muñoz. The Assembly Tourism and Arts Committee unanimously approved the legislation on January 20, 2011 during the National Ski Areas Association’s National Safety Awareness Week.
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Aaron Steiner, a minor plaintiff, sustained personal injuries and filed a Complaint against the New Fairfield Board of Education. Defendants requested a neuropsychological examination. Plaintiff objected asserting the right to have the neuropsychological testing observed and videotaped. Defendants opposed that request.
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I have previously reported on efforts by many states to enact legislation to protect student athletes who sustained traumatic brain injuries. Most recently I wrote regarding New Jersey’s passage of a student athlete concussion safety legislation and as well as Pennsylvania’s efforts in that regard.
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On September 13, 2010, a Massachusetts trial court in the matter of Sawski v. Gigs, LLC held a Daubert/Lanigan II hearing with regard to the admissibility or non admissibility of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The parties did not request an evidentiary hearing but submitted over 3000 pages of affidavits, medical articles and memorandum.
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In the matter of Whilden v. Kimberly Kline, et al., defendants filed a motion in limine to bar the testimony of William W. Orrison, Ph.D. and to bar the admissibility of diffusion tensor imaging. Plaintiff was involved in a number of motor vehicle collisions in which it was alleged that he had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury.
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The General Assembly is scheduled to vote on A-2743 (the concussion in sports bill) today, Monday, October 25, 2010. The Assembly already passed a version of this bill on June 28th of this year. However, after that passage, the Senate passed an amended version of the bill on October 18th, and now the Assembly needs to approve the version that passed the Senate.
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