Anytime someone participates in a sporting activity, there is a risk that they could be injured. However, participants reasonably assume that the organization arranging the game has implemented rules to keep players safe and free from experiencing an unnecessary Florida sports injury.
In a recent opinion released by a federal appellate court, the court allowed a plaintiffs’ lawsuit to proceed against a youth water polo league based on the league’s failure to implement and enforce rules to keep players safe. The case illustrates the type of situation in which a Florida sports injury victim may be able to pursue a claim for compensation for the injuries they have sustained.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was the mother of a student water polo player who was repeatedly hit in the head during the game and each time put back into play. The student ended up suffering a concussion and debilitating post-concussion syndrome.
Evidently, the student was playing in a three-day tournament. During the competition, she sustained a blow to the head, which left her “dazed.” Despite this, the student was put back into play and, over the course of the next few days, suffered several more blows to the head. The student’s coach was not provided any training on how to recognize and effectively deal with concussions.
Days later, the plaintiff suffered from severe fatigue, headaches, and had trouble sleeping. Her school performance suffered, and she was eventually taken out of public school. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the league organizers, arguing that the lack of “concussion management” and “return to play” protocols resulted in the student’s injuries.
The plaintiff presented evidence showing the number of similar injuries suffered by water polo players, and the fact that the league organizers were made aware of these injuries. The league argued that it did put rules in place to govern safe play, and that the student assumed the risk of injury by choosing to play the sport knowing that she could have been injured.
The Court’s Opinion
The court acknowledged that a student-athlete may assume the risk of injury by participating in a dangerous sport in some cases, but held that was not the case under these facts. The court explained that, here, the league’s failure to implement rules regarding concussion management and return-to-play protocol exposed the plaintiff to additional risks that were not inherent in the sport. The court looked to the rules implemented by the national water polo league, noting that the national league’s rules did more to protect players from this very type of injury. Thus, the court held that the plaintiff presented a viable case against the league and allowed the case to proceed to trial.
Has Your Child Been Injured While Playing Sports?
If your child has recently been injured while playing for a school sports team or any other youth league, contact the dedicated Florida personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Friedman Rodman & Frank. At Friedman Rodman & Frank, we represent injury victims and their family members in all types of personal injury lawsuits, including those arising from the participation in sporting activities. To learn more, call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation today.
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