Tag Archives: trainer
(Editor’s Note: What follows is a brief excerpt from an article that appeared in the December issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. For more, subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)
The United States Tennis Association, Inc. (USTA), which operates the U.S. Open, has filed her answer to the lawsuit of tennis professional Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard, who sued the USTA after she suffered a concussion in a slip-and-fall accident that occurred on September 4, 2015.
At the time, Bouchard had just won a mixed-doubles match in the 2015 U.S. Open. In her complaint, she alleged that she fell because of a “slippery, foreign and dangerous substance” on the floor of the physiotherapy room of the women’s locker room.
Bouchard, who suffered a concussion, has withdrawn from numerous tournaments since the accident. She attempted to return to the sport in a match at the China Open on October 5, 2015 against Andrea Petkovic. However, she was unable to finish the match, complaining of dizziness. She has not returned to tennis since and has dropped in the rankings.
Bouchard is seeking an unspecified amount of damages for “economic loss, medical expenses and loss of enjoyment life” resulting from her head injury. Through her attorneys, the Morelli Ratner Law Firm, PLLC, she asserted causes of action for negligence against both the USTA and the USTA’s National Tennis Center, where the match was played. She alleged that they were collectively negligent in “failing to maintain, clean and repair the women’s locker room and physiotherapy room in a reasonably safe and suitable condition” and that they “had actual and/or constructive prior notice of the dangerous condition” which allegedly caused her to fall.
The USTA Claims Bouchard Was ‘Contributorily Negligent’
Among the arguments contained in its answer was the defendants’ assertion that “any and all risks of injury or dangers connected with the incident alleged in the complaint were at the time and place mentioned obvious, apparent and inherent risks and dangers, which … were known or should reasonably have been known by the plaintiff.”
Thus, Bouchard was “contributorily negligent” because, based on her “prior experience and knowledge,” she was aware of (for more, subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)
USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan wondered aloud in a column this week whether football would have made it as a sport if invented today? Her answer seemed to be, probably not because of the safety issue, especaily as it relates to concussions.
One of the most vexing issues to Brennan is the lack of athletic trainers.
“Only 37 percent of U.S. public high schools have full-time athletic trainers, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association,” wrote Brennan.
“This means that thousands of high school football games go on every year without a certified athletic trainer anywhere nearby. So when a young athlete can’t get up after a hard hit or wobbles over to the sideline, clearly in trouble, a trained professional isn’t there to help him.
“We know why this is. Our public schools are slashing their budgets. Where’s the line item for the new athletic trainer? It doesn’t exist.
“But what kind of society allows a vast majority of its children at public schools to play such a rough and violent sport without any semblance of a safety net?”
Concussion lawsuits are typically high-profile, messy matters, where every ebb and flow of the litigation is splashed across the sports page.
Then you have the lawsuit filed recently in Louisiana against a Baton Rouge high school and its very successful head football coach.
The litigation has not made the papers. But it should.
The father alleged that after his son suffered a concussion that the coach rushed him back to football practice too soon, going so far as to “request” that the trainer “immediately release (him) to begin football practice.” The plaintiff claimed that his son was cleared at the coach’s “insistence and without performing any evaluation.” This, the plaintiff alleged, ran counter to La. R.S. 40:1299.182, the Louisiana Youth Concussion Act (Act).
On May 7, 2014, the player did return to football practice and shortly thereafter was allegedly ordered to perform “head roll drills down the length of the football field” as “punishment.” Midway through the drill, he allegedly advised the coaches that “he was unable to complete the drill because of his prior concussion and that he was also dehydrated due to a lack of fluid provided during practice.” Nevertheless, he was allegedly ordered to continue to drill or he would be removed from the team. He resumed the drill, but begin experiencing dizziness, nausea, and a partial loss of consciousness. The plaintiff claimed that “no evaluation or medical intervention of any kind” was offered to his son.
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