LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A North Hollywood High School student who broke his neck in five places during football tryouts four years ago was awarded $2.4 million in arbitration against the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Johnny Rider, now 19, suffered a five-way cervical spine fracture in July 2008 when he ran head first into padded bags.
He said he got hurt because the school didn't give him a helmet or other protective gear.
Although not paralyzed, he will need more surgery, according to his attorney.
The LAUSD admitted liability and said the district didn't provide protective gear to the students.
"The (district) deeply regrets the severe injury suffered by this former student," said LAUSD general counsel David Holmquist. "With this ruling, we hope this settlement will bring some comfort to the injured student and his family."
Rider hoped to play football at the University of Southern California and eventually with the NFL.
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