Broke a bone in touch football league...

by Michael
(Richmond, VA)

I participate in a recreational touch football league that you pay to be involved in. We play our games at 1 of 2 fields. The fields were full of rocks, rocky grassy areas, etc. I ran a route and hit a bad spot in the ground, slipping and consequently breaking my left tibia.

The fields are property owned by the City of Richmond and used by the league, but not sure what type of agreement they have. Do I have any recourse for my injury?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Broke a bone in touch football league...":

Michael (Richmond, VA):

The answer to your question is "Yes." Here's why...

You pay a fee to use the fields. Assuming all or part of the money you and the other participants pay goes directly to the city for use of the playing fields, the city has a legal duty of care to make sure the fields are safe.

In addition, even if none of the money goes to the city, and the city was aware the fields were to be used to play touch football, and the city made no effort to thwart play by posting signs prohibiting touch football, or no trespassing signs, the city still owes you and the other players a legal duty of care.

Use of the fields to play touch football can be considered a natural use of the fields. As a result, the city should have taken steps to make sure rocks, gravel, etc. were removed. Those items present real dangers to participants.

In the alternative, if you were using the fields for an unnatural use such as racing cars, using fireworks, etc. the city might not be liable.

To be compensated for your injury, including your medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, crutches, etc. and your pain and suffering, you must file a "tort Claim." Your injury is serious enough to consult with an attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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