Push to insure student athletes goes to governor
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Rob Komosa pushed to have high schools carry catastrophic accident insurance before his death this year.
Mark Black | Staff Photographer
SPRINGFIELD — For years before his death in March, former Rolling Meadows High School football player Rob Komosa pushed for high schools to carry insurance to cover injuries like those that left him paralyzed in 1999.
On Monday, the Illinois House sent legislation to Gov. Pat Quinn that would do just that.
The bill would require high schools to carry catastrophic accident insurance providing up to $3 million or five years of coverage for injured student athletes.
Komosa, then 17, suffered a life-changing injury during football practice at Rolling Meadows High School that left him unable to walk, move his arms and legs, or breathe on his own.
As medical bills piled up after his injury, Komosa sued Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and settled for $12.5 million in 2005 because the district didn't have such insurance.
The House approved the measure by a 71-39 vote. Concerns were raised over the cost to school districts, which could range between $5 and $10 per student.
School districts would be allowed to join a group plan set up by the Illinois High School Association and wouldn't be required to carry the insurance if student athletes are themselves required to be insured to participate in sports.
State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, an Elmhurst Republican, called those provisions a "good piece of legislation that not only worked for the students but worked for the school districts."
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