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Lawsuit: Youth Soccer Leagues In SoCal Accused Of Failing To Prevent Concussions

CORONA DEL MAR ( — A class-action lawsuit was recently filed against California youth soccer leagues accused of failing to prevent players from getting concussions.

According to the lawsuit, prosecutors are looking to limit the number of times a child hits the ball with his or her head in order to help prevent injuries.

The goal is to adopt a protocol to evaluate and manage concussion symptoms, prosecutors said.

CBS2's Michele Gile spoke with parents and soccer players Friday who gave reaction to the lawsuit.

Michael McKenzie, a former American Youth Soccer Organization coach, was put through concussion training.

McKenzie said he was taught that any player with symptoms is to be pulled out, evaluated and not allowed back in the game.

"In my 10 years, I have only witnessed two people having concussions through hundreds and hundreds of games and practices," McKenzie said.

Gile reported that any soccer player will agree that "headers" are part of the game.

The action of hitting the soccer ball off of a person's head with force seems to be the leading cause for this concussion epidemic.

"Sometimes, you just don't think about it, and it's like a bullet straight to your head," said soccer player Alyssa McKenzie. "It just hurts really bad, and you kind of feel like your brain boggle in your head."

A statement was released by AYSO officials in response to the lawsuit.

"AYSO's highest priority is creating a safe and nurturing environment where kids can play and have fun," the statement read. "We take seriously the issue of concussion awareness and are proud to have played a leading role in developing policies and programs to address this area of concern since 2009."

AYSO was founded 50 years ago in Torrance. The soccer organization is listed in the lawsuit, among similar leagues.

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