A wrongful death lawsuit was filed yesterday for the death of a 14-year-old girl who died after she ruptured her spleen while perform a cheerleading stunt. Studies have found that over 16,000 cheerleaders are injured every year, and cheerleading accounted for half of all “catastrophic” injuries suffered by female high school athletes over the last 25 years.
The $2 billion cheerleading industry has almost no standards or oversight, according to consumer attorneys, yet encourages and promotes activities that are inherently dangerous, including stunts where young girls are thrown more than 15 feet off the ground. Moreover, cheerleading is now popular with girls much younger than high school aged, and the level of difficulty of cheerleading stunts has grown more extreme in recent years. There are numerous documented incidents of brain injuries, fractures, and other debilitating injuries resulting from cheerleading stunts.
According to cheer safety advocate Kimberly Archie, “the state of cheerleading today is a national crisis.” Archie started the National Cheer Safety Foundation to promote more regulation and awareness of the dangers. It’s not uncommon for high schools and cheerleading school to hire “coaches” whose only experience in the industry is that they were cheerleaders themselves. And frequently they are hired shortly after high school and have little or no formal training.
CBS recently did a story on this very subject:
The personal injury and wrongful death law firm of Walton Law Firm LLP represents clients throughout Southern California, including the counties of San Diego, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura. Contingency fee arrangements available and consultations are always free.