FDA Wins Lawsuit Against Helmet Manufacturer Riddell, Inc.

Jun 17, 2021 | Product Liability

After nearly five years of litigation Franklin D. Azar and Associates has received an $11.5 million verdict for their severely injured client*. The victim, a Trinidad, Colorado resident, now 22 years old, was severely injured during a high school football practice in 2008.

During a pre-season early morning football practice at Trinidad High school, the young client suffered a head injury during the “machine gun” or “flipper” drill. The injured player was not immediately taken to the hospital and, as a result, his brain continued to slowly bleed, eventually causing irreparable brain damage and leaving one side of his body partially paralyzed.

Upon completion of closing argument the jury deliberated and came to a final decision near 2 a.m. on April 13th. They chose to award Mr. Ridolfi, now 22 years old, with $11.5 million. The award of $11.5 million was awarded after the jury found that helmet manufacturer Riddell, Inc. had failed to accurately warn users about concussion dangers. The award was apportioned among Riddell, Inc. as well as coaches involved in the incident leading to the injury. Frank Azar said that he’ll ask a judge to find Riddell responsible for paying all $11.5 million in damages.

Franklin D. Azar is also representing an injured party in a similar incident in Los Angeles as well as numerous NFL players facing lifelong injuries due to repeated concussions. “I think this jury has said they’re in very serious trouble,” said Azar.

*Plaintiff brought claims for strict product liability, negligent product design, negligent failure to warn, and willful and wanton negligence. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Ridolfi on his claims for negligent failure to warn by Defendant Riddell and negligence by Defendants Randy Begano and Mike Ridolfi. The jury found for Defendant Riddell on Mr. Ridolfi’s claims for product liability. While finding Randy Begano and Mike Ridolfi negligent, the jury did not find their conduct to be willful and wanton. The jury apportioned fault for causing Mr. Ridolfi’s injuries as follows: Riddell, Inc. 27 %, Randy Begano, 27%, Mike Ridolfi 27%, Frank Begano 14%, Rhett Ridolfi 5%. Because the jury did not find willful and wanton conduct on behalf of the coaches, Plaintiff cannot recover from Randy Begano or Mike Ridolfi under Colorado law. Plaintiff settled with Frank Begano out of Court. Plaintiff is entitled to collect 27% of the total verdict from Defendant Riddell. Plaintiff believes a new trial is necessary because of an inconsistency in the verdict.