The family of a 16-year-old left permanently disabled following a middle-school football game settled its claim with the Tahoma School District for $14.6 million, according to the school district's attorney.
The family of a Maple Valley boy who was permanently disabled from injuries suffered playing junior-high football has settled with the Tahoma School District for $14.6 million, according to the district’s attorney.
Zackery Lystedt’s settlement money will be placed in an account managed by a trustee, family attorney Richard Adler said, and will be used to pay for his medical and therapeutic needs.
The district additionally will be required to provide for the 16-year-old’s special-educational needs until he reaches 22, Adler said.
The money will ensure Lystedt’s medical needs will be covered for the rest of his life, but “it’s not a windfall for his family,” said Adler.
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“They will never be fully compensated,” he said.
Lystedt’s attorneys declined to disclose what percentage of the settlement they would receive.
The boy suffered a concussion during a school football game Oct. 12, 2006.
He was twice returned to play and collapsed 60 seconds after the game was over.
Doctors later would discover he had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was hemorrhaging.
The family filed a claim against the school district over the incident.
His injuries led to the passage of a state law that has been called the nation’s most rigorous in protecting young athletes from severe brain injuries.
The new law requires clearance from a licensed medical professional, which includes certified athletic trainers, before a student-athlete who has sustained a concussion can return to the playing field.
The law has been hailed by numerous athletic and medical associations, and at least eight other states are considering similar laws, according to Adler.
The school district’s attorney, Mike Patterson, released the amount of the settlement Thursday in response to a written public-disclosure request filed by The Seattle Times.
The district initially said it could not disclose the amount because both sides had signed a confidentiality agreement.
However, the appellate courts have ruled that public entities, such as school districts, must disclose the amount of settlements.