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$712,500 Bowling Green State University settlement in concussion lawsuit

A former redshirt freshman at Bowling Green State University who suffered three concussions during football practices is to receive a $712,500 settlement from the university.

The Ohio Court of Claims on Monday approved the settlement for Cody Silk of Sterling Heights, Mich., whose career as an offensive lineman and college education came to a halt during his first year in 2010.

Mr. Silk sued the university in 2012, claiming coaches and medical staff at BGSU failed to withhold him from practices after he suffered the concussions that led to permanent brain injury.

He was medically disqualified from playing football by team doctors after the third concussion.

The lawsuit was headed toward trial when the parties agreed to the settlement. In it, the university did not admit to any fault and Mr. Silk agreed that he would not bring any future claims against BGSU.

The Court of Claims initially rejected Mr. Silk’s contention that BGSU was legally responsible for his brain injuries, in part because, like most college football players, he had signed a release of liability to play football.

Daniel Kurowski, a Chicago attorney who was one of the lawyers who represented Mr. Silk, said he attempted to continue his education at BGSU after he was sidelined, but was unable to because of cognitive problems the concussions caused. He currently is working, his attorney said, though his life’s path has not been what he intended when he enrolled at BGSU as a business major on a football scholarship.

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