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Ex-Athlete Sues U. of Illinois over Concussion Protocol

A former soccer player at the University of Illinois filed a lawsuit against the Illinois athletic department, the school’s athletic director Mike Thomas, head coach Janet Rayfield and assistant athletic trainer Brittany Scott over how team officials handled a concussion she received.

Casey Conine is seeking $50,000 in damages in the suit, which alleges that the soccer team ignored university protocol when she sustained a concussion in a 2014 match after colliding with the other team’s goalkeeper.

RELATED: Lawsuit Targets NCAA's Lack of Response to Concussions

According to Thomas Koester, one of the attorneys handling the case, “There is a concussion protocol that the athletic department is supposed to go through before a player is allowed to resume practice or play, and they did not comply with it.”

The suit says that following the hit, Conine staggered around the field, was never checked on and continued to play. She was diagnosed with a concussion two days later.

The suit alleges that two weeks after the initial incident, Conine was sent on a road trip for a game and was cleared to play without receiving a follow-up exam by a physician. During the game, Conine headed the ball multiple times and said she felt like she was going to vomit.

After receiving a follow-up exam in December, Conine was no longer cleared to play soccer.

RELATED: How to Manage Concussions in Athletics

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