Adler Giersch Attorney Richard H. Adler Honored by American College of Sports

Dr. Stan Herring presents award to Richard H. Adler at the ACSM News Conference on May 27, 2009.

SEATTLE, WA – In a surprise move May 27, 2009 at the Annual American College of Sports Medicine convention , Dr. Stan Herring presented Richard Adler with an award for his service and dedication to the Heads Up program and the Lysted legislation. Richard Adler became the first non- ASCM member to receive an award in the organizations history. Richard Adler shared the award with the Lystedt family for their joint dedication and efforts to help prevent devastating injuries to other young athletes were instrumental in getting the ground breaking Lystedt law passed in Washington state.

Richard Adler also spoke to doctors and therapists from all over the country at a news conference for the attendees at the Annual American College of Sports Medicine convention. The focus of the talk was on the Heads Ups program, as well as how to pass a youth sports and concussion law similar to the new Washington State law in other states. Dr. Stanley Herring and the Lystedt family also spoke.

Washington approves law that prohibits sports play after concussion – Experts say: “When in doubt, sit them out”

(L to R) Richard H. Adler, Governor Christine Gregoire, Dr. Stanley Herring, Victor Lystedt, Zackery Lystedt, Mercedes Lystedt, Representive Jay Rodne

OLYMPIA – The Brain Injury Association of Washington (BIAWA) today applauded Gov. Christine Gregoire for signing the nation’s toughest return-to-play law, requiring medical clearance of youth athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion, before sending them back in the game, practice or training.

The new law (House Bill 1824), known as the Zackery Lystedt Law, prohibits youth athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion from returning to play without a licensed health-care provider’s approval. The new law is the most comprehensive return-to-play law in the United States for athletes under 18.

“This is a common-sense law that makes youth sports safer and helps prevent, preventable brain injuries,” said BIAWA President, a Seattle attorney with the Seattle law firm Adler Giersch, ps. His firm, along with attorney Michael Nelson, have been representing Zackery Lystedt, now a 16-year-old Maple Valley boy, who suffered a life-threatening brain injury on Oct. 12, 2006. School coaches returned him to play football after he sustained a concussion, without first obtaining a complete evaluation by a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. The young football star underwent emergency life-saving brain surgery at Harborview Medical Center after he collapsed on the field. Zackery remains dependent on a wheel chair and 24/7 supervision for his needs.

More than 3.5 million sports-and-related concussions occur each year in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Zackery’s injuries could and should have been avoided. This legislation provides the protection he should have received. Well-established return-to-play rules following a concussion must now be communicated by school officials to coaches, student athletes and parents,” Adler said. “It will also protect young athletes from school districts that are lax in educating coaching staff and parents on proper safety standards, preventing them from putting injured children further in harm’s way.”

Key provisions of the new law require:

  • Youth athletes who are suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury be removed from play. “When in doubt, sit them out”
  • School districts to work with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) to develop information and policies on educating coaches, youth athletes and parents about the nature and risk of concussion, including the dangers of returning to practice or competition after a concussion or head injury.
  • All student athletes and their parents/guardians sign an information sheet about concussion and head injury prior to the youth athlete’s initiating practice at the start of each season.
  • Youth athletes who have been removed from play receive written medical clearance prior to returning to play from a licensed health-care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion.
  • Private, nonprofit youth sports associations wanting to use publicly owned playfields comply with this law.

The new law was sponsored by Rep. Jay Rodne, R-North Bend, with support from BIAWA, Zackery’s parents Victor and Mercedes Lystedt, and a large coalition of supporters that include: The Center for Disease Control, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, Washington State Youth Soccer Association, Washington State Athletic Trainers Association, Cannfield & Associates Risk Managers, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital.

As a direct result of the “Lystedt Law,” Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children’s are launching a sports concussion program for children, teen and adult athletes to evaluate, treat and provide medical clearance to return to sports following a concussion. “We are delighted by this announcement,” noted Adler. “This will go a long way to making sports safer and preventing preventable brain injuries in our state.”

Helpful links:

Harborview/UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital Launch Sports Concussion Program


Susan Gregg-Hanson, UW Medicine News & Community Relations, 206-616-6730
Jennifer Seymour, Seattle Children’s, 206-987-5207

Media are invited to join Governor Christine Gregoire, Zackery Lystedt, school athletic coaches and others at the bill signing of HB 1824 to develop guidelines for concussion and head injury risk for Washington youth at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 14:Governor’s Conference Room, Legislative Building – 2nd floor, Olympia.

Seattle—UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s are launching a sports concussion program for children, teen and adult athletes to evaluate, treat and provide medical clearance to return to sports. Beginning this summer, patients will be seen at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

The UW Medicine/Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program will help school and team coaches meet the provisions of a new state law that prohibits young athletes showing signs of a concussion from returning to play without a licensed health-care provider’s approval. The law is named after Zackery Lystedt, a Maple Valley teenager who suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing football in October 2006. After sustaining the injury, Zackery returned to play because no one recognized the signs and symptoms of his serious brain injury.

“Concussions can be a serious health problem and they require immediate recognition and proper management,” said Dr. Stanley Herring, co-medical director of the Sports Concussion Program, medical director of the UW Medicine Spine Center at Harborview and a team physician for the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners. “With this program, our community is taking an important step forward to protect athletes who play organized sports.”

“We see many children, as well as adults with sports injuries at Seattle Children’s and Harborview Medical Center,” said Dr. Richard G. Ellenbogen, co-medical director of the Sports Concussion Program and professor and chairman of the UW Department of Neurological Surgery. “This collaborative program enhances our ability to diagnose head injuries and provide appropriate treatments to keep young athletes safe and healthy.”

The comprehensive program is composed of health-care providers in Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurological Surgery, Neuropsychology, Sports Medicine and Radiology. In addition, the program will provide education on the prevention and treatment of concussions to parents, trainers, athletes, athletic directors and many others involved in youth sports.

As many as 3.8 million sports-and-recreation-related concussions occur each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Early identification of an athlete with a concussion is critical, as athletes who return to play too soon following initial injury are at risk for brain injuries, some of which can be catastrophic as happened to Zackery Lystedt,” said Richard H. Adler, President of the Brain Injury Association of Washington. “The Sports Concussion Program brings together some of the nation’s top experts on concussions and brain injuries, and will greatly advance the treatment of these injuries to our kids.”

Concussions can happen to any athlete, even without losing consciousness. Prevention and proper treatment are essential. Young athletes should seek medical care immediately if they experience any symptoms after a blow or jolt to the head. For more information, visit: or

About Harborview Medical Center

Harborview Medical Center is owned by King County, managed by the University of Washington, and part of the UW Medicine system of care. Harborview is the only Level I adult and pediatric trauma center serving Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The medical center’s mission is to provide exemplary patient care, teaching, research, and community service. For more information, visit:

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s delivers superior patient care, advances new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). Children’s also serves as the primary clinical, research and teaching site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. For more information, visit:

Adler Giersch Launches Social Media Legal Site

(PRWEB) June 16, 2008 Seattle, WA — Long a fixture on the Puget Sound legal landscape with their landmark building along Mercer Avenue in Seattle, the personal injury law firm of Adler Giersch ps is about to become a leading destination for personal injury knowledge and networking in cyberspace.

Adler Giersch is leading the way, from offline to online, in Northwest brain and spinal injury legal cases. Headed by Richard H. Adler, jurist and author of texts including the dynamic Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Survivors and Families, the firm has combined its deep knowledge of personal injury matters with its publishing prowess in a new Website that taps the social power of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 marks a turnaround for Website development by enabling owners to “transmit” information on a syndicated basis, just like cybercasters, instead of simply waiting for viewers to show up for a visit.

Visitors to can subscribe to a syndicated RSS feed that will deliver the latest headlines about brain injury, spinal injury, and other personal injury breakthroughs direct to their news reader, personalized Web start-up page or email inbox. While on the site, users can also respond to the latest polling questions, walk through a visual glossary about the types and causes of brain injuries, obtain answers and understanding of various medical and legal issues through a multitude of in-depth articles, consult a local community calendar or even be sent free books from the Website’s Bookstore which also features DVD’s for sale that are previewed via YouTube.

However those that do click on the links that lead to will find everything from a rotating, transparent, 3-D brain in Flash to a long list of Community Resource links for leading regional and national associations and health care providers. A rich database of articles, including complete glossaries of Common Legal and Medical Terms used in personal injury cases can be researched via the on-site search engine.

“We’re reaching out to the communities we serve with our enhanced Web delivery system,” said Richard H.Adler, “making our content more interactive and able to be personalized on demand. These new enhancements let the public subscribe to the latest news on a wide range of personal injury topics according to their interests.” “Brainwaves” the new Adler Giersch blog is a perfect example. Each week, subscribers can read new facts and information about the latest brain injury diagnoses and therapies, all without ever leaving their PC or Mac desktops. The news is delivered to them.

The Website and content management system was co-designed with the help of SearchWrite, a Bainbridge island firm led by info-architects Larry Sivitz and Jody Levinson.

For more information, please contact:

Adler Giersch
333 Taylor Avenue North
Seattle WA 98109
Telephone – 206-682-0300
Fax- 206-224-0102