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| Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A police recruit in Norfolk, Virginia (VA), was knocked down during a training session and had to be taken to the hospital, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Doctors diagnosed the recruit with a mild concussion. What will probably surprise people is that the recruit was not actually hit in the head. He was knocked to the ground on his buttocks.

The recruit’s concussion highlights the fact that direct contact with the head is not specifically required for someone to suffer a head injury. The impact of a fall where another section of the absorbs the direct force can still have repercussions for a person’s brain.

The injury to this Norfolk police recruit is also a haunting reminder of the tragic death of John Kohn, who died from a brain hemorrhage after suffering multiple blows to the head by a police instructor.

I am handling the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Kohn's widow. It is currently pending in Norfolk Circuit Court.

The one bright spot in this tragic situation is that the Norfolk Police Department made changes to its training procedures after Kohn's death, including banning intentional strikes to the head and emphasizing the importance of identifying and reporting possible injuries of recruits.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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