Injured Knee in a Football Game...

by Donna
(San Rafael, California, U.S.)

In a football game on November 5th another player hit my son's left knee causing him so much damage that it will need surgery. He had to be taken to the emergency room and had complete ACL and MCL tears, and Menicus Tears. He is 18 years old. The other kid rammed his shoulder pad (that was what I heard) into the left side of his knee.

It was raining that day and the principal of the school (who I called later on the week) said his foot was stuck. So I'm thinking maybe there was something wrong with the astroturf. My son is now depressed, arguing more and missing school. He is also unable to work. What can I do?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Injured Knee in a Football Game...":

Donna (San Rafael, California, U.S.):

Regrettably there isn't much you can do. When it comes to school athletic events, there exists, even for minors, what is legally referred to as "Assumption of the Risk". The assumption of the risk is primarily applicable to the parents or legal guardians of their child sports participants.

High school football injuries occur thousands of times annually. Most high school athletic departments do everything within their power to protect their student athletes. As long as your son's school did everything "reasonable and prudent" to make sure their athletes are protected their is little you can do.

Parents are held accountable for their the activities they permit their children to engage in. Some parents, knowing the higher probability of injury in football, permit their children only to play soccer, or a less dangerous contact sport.

Your only action could possibly be against the third party astroturf manufacturer. Even then your chance of prevailing will be marginal at best.

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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