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Lawmakers propose changes to Utah's concussion law

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17 2012 5:48 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers proposed a change to Utah's concussion rule that would exempt property owners, including cities, from liability.

Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, is seeking to modify the Protection of Athletes with Head Injuries Act, to put organizations in charge of their own events, regardless of where they are held.

He presented the changes in Wednesday's Health and Human Services Interim Committee meeting.

"As it is written, the public policy would force government entities to start precluding the use of their facilities unless they're staffed at the parks to watch the kids, because right now, it is a strict liability standard on the owner of the property," said Rob Wall, South Jordan city attorney who also works with the Utah High School Activities Association.

He said there are hundreds of thousands of acres of play fields in the state that should continue to be used by anyone who wants to.

The proposed changes, Wall said, "puts the burden of watching the kids on the sponsor of the events." He said the move would further protect taxpayer dollars.

The original act, requiring school-sponsored activities to follow a strict concussion management plan that includes medical attention and removal from play following a concussion, passed through the Legislature in 2011.

Wendy Leonard

Twitter: wendyleonards

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