Taking a closer look at brain injury lawsuits: Part 1

Readers might expect a brain injury lawsuit arising from an athletic event to relate to bodily impact between players. However, an athletic event also involves the attendance of hundreds or more invitees to an owner’s property. Accordingly, a premises liability lawsuit might also arise from a sporting event, as a recent lawsuit illustrates.

Specifically, a former high school basketball player has brought suit against a school district, seeking $1.3 million in damages. The complaint alleges that the district, through the actions of its employees, failed to remedy a known hazard on its premises: another student’s vomit on the basketball court. The student suffered a traumatic brain injury and claims to have ongoing symptoms. The school district has denied liability, claiming that the accident resulted from the student’s own negligence.

In a premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff typically alleges that the defendant failed to remedy a hazard of which it had actual or constructive knowledge. In this case, the school district may have had actual knowledge, as it had already made an effort to clean up the vomit on the gym floor.

However, the complaint alleges that some vomit still remained on the court after the cleaning, and also that the floor was still wet when the school allowed students to resume playing on it. The complaint further alleges that the school failed to provide any warning of the slippery floor to the students.

In our next post, we explore some of the damages that might arise from a brain injury, and how a slip-and-fall lawsuit alleging negligent property maintenance might frame that prayer for relief.

Source: Oregon Live, “High schooler slips in vomit on basketball court, now brain damaged, $1.3m suit says,” Aimee Green, Oct. 3, 2016

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