A Duke football player who was severely injured during a jet ski accident had his first phone call of the season with the school’s coaching staff, according to news reports. The young man sustained a traumatic brain injury when his jet ski collided with that of a teammate during the July 4 holiday.
The young man had been treated at the UNC Hospital. He was in critical, but stable, condition during his stay there. After four weeks, the player was transferred to the Shepherd Center, a facility in Atlanta, where he will continue his rehabilitation in the Acquired Brain Injury Unit.
Family members and friends say that the young man is starting to show signs of recovering, as his old sense of humor and personality are more apparent. His health is continuously improving, they say, and even though the rehabilitation process will be long, everyone seems optimistic.
Media reports have not provided details about the crash itself, which happened at Lake Tillery while members of the football team were on vacation. It is possible that the jet ski malfunctioned, which could lead to a products liability case against the manufacturer of the device. Additionally, if the machine had malfunctioned because of neglect or poor maintenance, the owner of the jet ski could be to blame for the young man’s injuries. A variety of other factors could have caused the accident, including poor signage or irresponsible operation of the watercraft.
Considering the extent of the young man’s injuries, his family would be wise to attempt to recoup some funds from the owner or operator of the jet ski operation, assuming that the machines were rented. Not only will the young man’s treatment financially overwhelm the family, but he has lost income and endured pain and suffering in connection with the accident.
It is likely that the young man will never play football again, because he will not be able to sustain blows to the head. By recovering money from the jet ski manufacturer or operator, some of those losses could be amended.
Source: Yahoo! Sports, “Severely injured Duke receiver Blair Holliday improving, speaks to coaches,” Graham Wilson, Aug. 8, 2012.