CTE bill honoring former local athlete who died passes Ohio legislature

An Ohio bill honoring a former Miamisburg athlete is headed to the governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 86 includes a section designating Jan. 30 as “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Awareness Day” to spotlight a disease that contributed to death of Cody Hamblin, who died in May 2016.

He was a quarterback at Miamisburg High School and suffered a series of concussions throughout his football career.

CTE is a brain disease caused by repeated head injuries that may include concussions. It is more commonly diagnosed in heavy contact sports such as boxing and football.

RELATED: CTE bill honors Miamisburg football player who suffered seizure, drowned

The controversy around CTE has led to concussion protocols in football and to lawsuits, including those filed by former National Football League players and a local one this year by Hamblin’s father.

The bill now heads to the Gov. John Kasich’s desk for his signature or veto.

Approval “will raise awareness so that others will understand the dangers of CTE,” according to state Rep. Niraj Antani. He introduced legislation in January honoring Hamblin, and it later became part of SB 86.

“If an individual sustains a concussion from participating in sports or other physical activity, they should seek proper medical care,” he said. “This bill serves as a legacy to Cody’s memory and will help prevent future tragedies.”

Hamblin, 22, died May 29, 2016, in a drowning during which he suffered a seizure that CTE contributed to, according to Antani.

Hambin earned his associate’s degree in December 2015 from Ohio University and was continuing with classes at OU in to graduate the following spring with a bachelor’s degree in urban planning and sustainability.

RELATED: Dad of late ex-Miamisburg football player sues helmet makers

Establishing an annual CTE Awareness Day, Hamblin’s sister Heidi said, “will help preserve the memory of Cody and all others affected by CTE. We need people to know about CTE in order to minimize others from being affected by it like Cody was.”

In May, Darren Hamblin filed a lawsuit in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court against the manufacturers of helmets worn by his son.

The suit, alleging that CTE led to Cody Hamblin’s seizure and death, names Riddell Sports Group and the parent company of Schutt Sports as defendants. The plaintiffs allege negligence, product liability, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and wrongful death.

The court document claims that Hamblin played football from 2001, when he was 8 years old, until 2011 and that he developed brain and neurological damage while using those companies’ helmets.

Last week, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case.

“Even when construing all material allegations in the plaintiff’s favor,” Hamblin’s suit “fails to state a legally sufficient claim against the Riddell defendants.”

Judge Steven Dankof has been assigned the case.


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