USTA Returns Serve in Genie Bouchard Concussion Lawsuit

(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 https://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.Tennis_Ball_web

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Bouchard, who suffered a concussion, has withdrawn from numerous tournaments since the accident.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 https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

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