Ohio Father Sues Helmet Maker Over Son’s Fatal Seizure

football helmet wrongful death

In the southwestern Ohio town of Miamisburg, a man has filed suit in Montgomery County Common Pleas court against the manufacturer of student football helmets.

Darren Hamblin is attesting that his son, Cody Hamblin, suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) due to repeated hits he sustained while playing football from 2001 until 2011. In the suit, Hamblin states that the helmet made by Riddell Sports Group had a defective design, and that the company did not provide adequate product information to warn against the repercussions of use during football competition.

The Montgomery County Common Pleas records show allegations of fraud, product liability, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and wrongful death.

Cody Hamblin, who was 22 when he died in 2016, had been on a fishing trip with his grandfather on Lake Lorelei in Fayetteville, Ohio, when he suffered a severe seizure. Hamblin fell out of the fishing boat and drowned.

Hamblin’s family claims that they were unaware of the long-term effects of cumulative brain trauma that Cody suffered while playing football, and that they believed Cody’s helmet would protect him from concussions as well as other lasting brain damage.

The story, reported by Dayton, Ohio’s Channel 10 news, indicates that the Hamblin family is asking the court to find Riddell Sports Group and Schutt Sports liable for the neurological damage Cody Hamblin suffered as a young football player.

Cody Hamblin wore #13 for Miamisburg High School, and was named the GWOC South Offensive Player of the Year. He led his high school’s football team in passing yards and rushing yards during his junior year. Earlier injuries prevented Hamblin for playing during much of his senior year.

In the four years between graduating high school and his death, Cody Hamblin worked at a CrossFit gym in West Carrollton, Ohio.