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School Sports Injury - Possible Liability

Rochester, NY |

I tried to write out the long version of my story but I didn't have enough space. Basicly I wrestled in high school, and my junior year I was having some very painful shoulder problems. I went and spoke with my schools trainer who said that it may be a torn labrum. She gave me a small workout program, but she didn't do much else. My shoulder only got worse and worse at that point, and after finishing wrestling my senior year I went to a doctor to get it checked out.
To make a long story short I had to get surgery on my shoulder, and the school is being extremely difficult about helping my family pay for it.
My family is very strapped for cash, and I would like to know if we are within our legal limits to sue the school. And I would also like to know if they are liable for my injuries?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Such claims are extremely difficult.

Historically, one could not even sue the government (which runs the schools) until the late 1970's, under the theory of sovereign immunity, or, as they said in the old days "the king could do no wrong." So, even now some 30+ years after the erosion of sovereign immunity, the courts and legislatures have kept certain barriers to suing governmental entities.

If the trainer and others were involved in a discretionery function, an area where they had some choice, they are immune. If the trainer, was giving you advice, a workout program, or other assistance which could be viewed as reasonable in the circumstances, then there was no negligence.

You might look around for an attorney in your area who has had some success in this type of suit and get a consultation in which you can give them your "long version" so that you can get a more detailed answer.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.

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Posted

In addition to the answer provided, I would like to add the following:

1) Whenever you try to sue a public entity/municipality in New York State - such as a school district - you usually have to file a Notice of Intent to File a Claim/Notice of Claim within 30 days of the alleged negligence. You really should speak with a Personal Injury attorney in your region to help with filing this document. It must be done in writing and must comply with the provision of the applicable state law.

2) In many sports injury cases a person has assumed the risk (or perhaps even your parent(s) assumed the risk) of your getting injured in a sports-related accident. You should check with an attorney to see if the doctrine of "Assumption of Risk" might apply in your particular case.

Best of luck.

THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT IMPLY OR CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS IMPLIED OR CREATED BY RESPONDING OR FAILING TO RESPOND TO THIS RESPONSE. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE. FOR LEGAL ADVICE, YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.

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