Family of Brain-Damaged Son Loses Suit Against Helmet Maker

A British Columbia court has dismissed a lawsuit filed against hockey helmet manufacturer Bauer Nike by a family whose teenage son suffered severe permanent brain damage while wearing its headgear. The suit also named the Canadian Standards Association, which approved the helmet.

Darren More, now 23, struck his head against the boards during a youth hockey game in 2004 when he was 17 and has been unable to care for himself since, according to Victoria's Times Colonist. The More family sought a reported $10 million in damages, but provincial Supreme Court judge Malcolm Macaulay ruled there was no evidence that the helmet design contributed to More's injuries - even though the suit cited a 1994 report prepared for the Canadian Standards Association by a doctor who recommended higher testing standards for hockey helmets, which the association rejected. The judge added that More, who had previously sustained concussions, was aware of the risks of injury because of warning decals on the helmet from both the manufacturer and the CSA. "Darren himself suffered two previous concussions playing hockey, while wearing a helmet, but like hundreds of thousands of other Canadians, chose to play anyway," Macaulay wrote in his decision.

Now, the Mores must pay court costs for the defendants, an amount the Times Colonist reports could add up to several thousand dollars.

On Nov. 11, 2004, Darren was playing hockey for the Juan de Fuca Orcas, a AAA Midget team, when he collided with the boards, hitting the back of his head. He suffered a subdural hematoma, brain swelling and hypoxia. Swelling of the brain included the brain stem, which affects critical breathing and cardiovascular functions. After months in the hospital and in rehab, Darren returned home to live with his parents. He reportedly needs constant supervision, has severe memory problems and is easily frustrated and distracted.

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