Articles Posted in School Injuries

If you participated in any kind of sport in your high school days, you know that players, coaches, faculty, and other students take the games very seriously. Practices are not optional, and players who do not give sufficient attention to their sport will be cut from the team or, at the very least, will be stuck on the bench for most of the season. Even so, our San Diego injury lawyer knows that there is a need for coaches to remember that the players are only kids and there are proper rest requirements and safety measures that must be maintained to ensure that injuries are avoided.

Recently, the family of a high school football player named Justin Williams has filed a lawsuit against East Nicolaus High School in Sutter County, Florida. According to an article by Fox40 out of Sacramento, the lawsuit alleges that after Williams missed a football practice, Coach Mark Varnum punished him by making him run drills in the scorching 95-degree heat and having the other players tackle him repeatedly. Williams fell ill while at practice, and he was taken to the hospital, where doctors determined that he had suffered a collapsed lung and a concussion.

Unfortunately, as often happens in these cases, the school and the coach are denying any liability for Williams’ condition. It remains to be seen how this case will eventually play out in court. Regardless, the story is a good example of the importance of being vigilant and remaining aware of what is going on at your child’s sports practices. In our area, San Diego sports injuries are common in high school sports. They can occur not just in high-impact activities like football, hockey, and lacrosse but also in low- or no-impact sports like baseball, tennis, or even swimming. The best way to prevent most sports-related injuries is to educate kids about the dangers involved in the sports they play and to try to help them understand when the coach is asking too much of them.

soccer%20ball.jpg In Justin Williams’ case, the allegations are that the coach’s method of punishment was the cause of Williams’ injuries. However, California high school sports injuries can occur in other situations, such as where the equipment used to protect players does not function as intended or even where players just do not take proper care of their bodies by getting enough food and water to keep it running. In some cases, precautions can be taken to prevent sports-related illnesses, such as dehydration. Anyone who plays any kind of sport, whether it be in an organized athletic program or just a casual game with friends, should always be aware of any risks and take measures to prevent injury.

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It wasn’t that long ago when you would be impressed by the high school cheerleader who could do back flips on the sidelines. Now back flips are practically a prerequisite. As cheerleading becomes more and more recognized as a sport, and the competitive demands grow, doctors are seeing an increasing number of severe injuries related to cheerleading accidents.

Take the story of Laura Jackson. Starting at the age of 14, Laura loved cheerleading and dreamed of being on the sidelines at the high school football games, and maybe even college. On the day of tryouts, however, her life changed. As she attempted a move called a “back-tuck” – a moved she learned just for the tryout – she misjudged the spotter and struck her head on the ground, breaking her neck. Laura is now quadriplegic.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina, cheerleading is by far and away the most dangerous sport in America for girls. Of all the catastrophic injuries suffered by girls in sport – injures causing permanent disability – cheerleading accounts for 65%. Nearly 30,000 cheerleaders are treated in Emergency Rooms around the country annually, tripling the amount from 1980.

Carlsbad’s Army and Navy Academy is defending another lawsuit filed against it for the alleged hazing of a cadet. The alleged incidents of hazing occurred nearly 10 years ago.

The lawsuit filed in Vista Superior Court is one of three filed against the school in the last two years. It contends that the cadet suffered several instances of ritual group beatings and sadomasochistic hazing, and accuses the academy, a boarding school, of failing to protect its young cadets. The delay in the filing of the suit, the complaint alleges, was that the plaintiff suffered years of mental, emotional, and psychological problems that stem from his stay at the academy.

The president of the academy, retired Army Gen. Stephen Bliss, told the Union Tribune that his school has strict standards of conduct, and abuse of cadets is not tolerated and is quickly addressed.

Yesterday, a well-known Kentucky high school football coach was charged with reckless homicide in the heat-related death of one of his players. The player, 15-year-old Max Gilpin, collapsed during an August practice, and died three days later. According to the allegations, Gilpin’s body temperature reached 107 degrees and witnesses said that coach Jason Stinson denied the boy water.

Interestingly, the day after Stinson was charged with a crime, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Davis v. Carter, a case eerily similar to Stinson’s. In Davis, the parents of a high school football player brought suit against three coaches for violation of the player’s constitutional rights, as well as causes of action in tort (presumably wrongful death). The player died after the coaches allegedly ignored signs of dehydration, and for denying the player water during a practice.

The coaches contended that they were entitled to qualified immunity, and that their conduct did not rise to the level of a violation of constitutional rights. Ultimately, court agreed.