In 2009, the Washington State Legislature passed the Zackery Lystedt law, named after a boy whose life was dramatically altered by a concussion sustained in a football game. The Lystedt law requires schools and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) to develop information and forms to educate coaches, parents, and young athletes about the risks of concussion and head injury, and to develop guidelines for the management of concussion and head injury. Schools must distribute information to parents and young athletes at least annually, but there is no similar requirement for non-school athletic programs, and many participants in non-school athletic programs are not adequately trained and do not have adequate policies in place to manage concussion and head injury.
Arbitration refers to a non-judicial process where a neutral person is selected to make a binding resolution of a legal dispute. When the parties voluntarily agree to arbitrate a dispute after it arises, arbitration can provide a relatively low cost and quick way to resolve the disputes. However, more and more companies are forcing arbitration agreements on employees and consumers as a condition of taking a job or providing goods and services. These pre-dispute arbitration agreements are often included in the fine print of employee handbooks, contracts for cell phones, credit cards and other consumer goods, investment and retirement account agreements, contracts to build or remodel a home, and even admission packets for nursing homes, to name just a few examples.