Other Sports News

Concussions and the law

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Legally Speaking – Featuring Phillip Millar

Millars Law has had many wins suing sports leagues for coaches failing to protect their players from head injuries. As former athletes, we are passionate about players’ rights and about protecting our youth. In recent years, the Canadian government has updated the laws surrounding youth sports to protect athletes against concussions.

Rowan’s Law is one example where the government has responded to the rise of head injuries in youth sports.  Rowan’s law was created in response to an accident that could have been avoided to 17-year-old Rowan Stringer.

Stringer died after she had sustained a second fatal concussion during a rugby game in Ottawa. Rowan had endured her first concussion within the seven days prior to the fatal hit. The coroner’s inquest determined that Rowan passed away from second impact syndrome.

Sustaining a second concussion while the brain is recovering from the first impact can result in a decrease of blood flow and depletion of energy levels. This causes the brain to swell, which can result in death. Death can occur in any situation where a person sustains two impacts to the head within a short period of time (the amount of time varies based on the size, age, and weight of the person).


This law is ultimately designed to keep children safe.

Rowan’s Law was passed unanimously on June 7, 2016 by the Ontario legislature, and it continues to govern all youth concussions in sports. The case resulted in 49 recommendations for youth sports and that youth sports require appropriate management of suspected concussions.


Some of the 49 recommendations within the law included:

•  Trainers and coaches have the proper tools to identify a concussion

•  Trainers and coaches have the proper contacts to get their player diagnosed

•  Have an increased awareness of educational opportunities

•  Have proper concussion policies in order for all sports organizations and school boards in Ontario


If your child is hit in the head and is sent back out onto the field or ice after showing signs of a concussion and gets hurt, they are liable. Head Injuries are a real danger. It is important to know the laws surrounding youth sports in Canada so that we can protect our children from deathly or serious injuries.


Contact us today for your FREE consultation:

519-657-1LAW or info@millarslaw.com