Ontario Government Passes Rowan’s Law, The First Of Its Kind In Canada
September 20, 2016 | By: Ben Irantalab
Rowan’s Law is named after the late Rowan Stringer, the 17 year old high school rugby player who died from multiple concussions while playing for her high school’s rugby team.
Rowan was her team’s co-captain. On Friday May 3rd, 2013, she played three shortened games in an all-day tournament. She was tackled and removed from play in the third game. She began experiencing headaches soon after.
On the following Monday, Rowan was feeling great and played in another game after school. However, in this game someone had stepped on her head, which had caused her headaches to return. Rowan suspected that she had suffered a concussion, but did not tell any adults.
The following Wednesday on May 8th was her last game after school. Rowan was not feeling well but wanted to play and help her team win. Unfortunately she suffered another concussion which led to Second Impact Syndrome that ultimately resulted in her death on May 12th, 2013.
A coroner’s inquest was called into Rowan’s death, which made 49 recommendations to improve concussion awareness and treatment in our schools.
With the passing of Rowan’s Law, the Ontario government has created an expert advisory committee — the Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee — that will advise the Ontario Premier on how to implement the recommendations made at the coroner’s inquest.
While this is a positive step in the right direction, the real challenge remains ahead: the Ontario Government will still have to pass legislation that implements the 49 recommendations made at Rowan’s coroner inquest. Only then can we be assured that we are protecting our children from ravages of sport-related concussion.
Ben first joined Oatley Vigmond as a summer student in May 2013. He returned to Oatley Vigmond as an articling student, and was later welcomed to the firm as an associate lawyer following his call to...