U.S. parents group drops concussion lawsuit against FIFA

Mon Nov 9, 2015 7:06pm EST
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By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A group of U.S. parents who sued several soccer organizations, including international governing body FIFA, is no longer pursuing legal claims because of steps taken to address the issue of concussions suffered by youth players, a lawyer for the group said on Monday.

The lawsuit, filed last year in federal court in California, said FIFA and other groups such as the American Youth Soccer Organization have not done enough to reduce preventable injuries from repetitive ball heading.

Earlier this year, a judge dismissed the lawsuit but gave the plaintiff a chance to refile it with additional detail on some claims. Meanwhile, the U.S. Soccer Federation and other groups developed a new initiative to limit heading for children under 14 years old and implement other concussion awareness efforts, according to a joint statement.

"With the development of the youth concussion initiative by U.S. Soccer and its youth members, we feel we have accomplished our primary goal, and therefore do not see any need to continue the pursuit of the litigation," said Steve Berman, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

The case is Rachel Mehr et al. vs. Federation Internationale de Football Association a/k/a/ FIFA et al., in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California No. 14-3879.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Leslie Adler)

A reporter uses his cell phone as he walks past a FIFA logo in front of FIFA headquarters before a press conference of the FIFA Executive Committee in Zurich October 29, 2007.  REUTERS/Michael Buholzer