Man wins right to sue Riddell football helmet company over son’s ‘wrongful death’

An Ohio dad seeking to hold football helmet maker Riddell responsible for his son’s death from apparent football-related brain injuries has been given the green light to proceed to trial.

An Ohio judge Tuesday ruled that Riddell will have to face off against Darren Hamblin’s claims that the company’s helmets are responsible for his son’s untimely death after a decade of playing tackle football, starting at the age of 8.

Hamblin’s son, Cody Hamblin, died in 2016 — five years after his high school football career ended — from a seizure while fishing with his grandfather, causing him to fall off the boat and drown.

An autopsy later revealed that the former Miamisburg High School football player suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a neurological injury associated with football that can only be detected after death, court papers show.

Hamblin has spent the last year fending off Riddell’s motions to dismiss his case, which has been described as a “bizarre test case” because it involves an amateur football player who died years later — not a professional.

The judge on Tuesday denied Riddell’s motion to toss five out of six of Hamblin’s claims including wrongful death and design and manufacturing defects. The only claim the judge tossed was for fraud, according to his ruling.

Hamblin’s victory comes as the helmet maker battles legal efforts by former NFL players to hold the helmet maker responsible for their head injuries.

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