Visitor Question

Chain basketball net causes injury…

Submitted By: Justin (Seattle, WA)

The school put up chain basketball nets at our son’s elementary school. This is an 8′ hoop and somehow one side of the net came loose and was hanging down. Our son jumped up to touch the net and gashed his right ring finger.

He received 10 stitches at the ER. This incident happened on the first day that the nets were installed. Another child did the same thing, but only received a minor cut. The nets were taken down the same day. I’m not sure if these nets are even legal to put up anymore due to the danger that they pose.

Do we have a case against the school to pay for my son’s medical bills? Any information on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Justin,

To have a viable personal injury claim against the school will require a showing of negligence. This would require the school to have known (or should have known) the chain basketball nets were dangerous, and with that knowledge, ignored the danger.

It is unlikely the school knew the nets were dangerous, especially if the nets were purchased at a retail store in the Seattle area, or were purchased from a company well known for selling chain basketball nets.

The next issue is the school’s duty to have researched the nets to see if they posed a danger to students. If the school purchased them from a local retailer or company known for selling the nets, there would be a question of the school’s duty to do an in-depth investigation of the nets and their possible danger prior to purchasing them.

Whether that investigation would have been warranted is difficult to answer, and would include a discussion of whether or not the school previously purchased goods from the seller of the nets, or if the school had been warned by other schools, employees, or others about the nets’ danger.

If after doing a reasonable investigation, the school was not able to find any evidence of the nets’ danger, then the school’s duty to further investigate the nets might not have been warranted.

The next issue is the school’s response to the injuries. It appears as soon as they realized the boys were injured, they took down the nets.

Under the circumstances, asking the school to reimburse you for your son’s medical bills would not be inappropriate. This is especially true as your son did not contribute to his own injury by using the nets in a manner in which they were not intended.

Learn more here: School Gym Class Injury Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


3 thoughts on “Chain basketball net causes injury…

  1. William says:

    Eric, I disagree with you, and ask you this. Is dunking illegal? Last time I checked, that’s part of the sport. Sure, if you’re only playing HORSE then you’ll never have to worry about it but the kids did NOT use the equipment in an improper way. Just because it’s improper to you, doesn’t mean it is. Your argument lacks any kind of logic other than “a hoop is only for for the ball going through” while completely ignoring all the ways that ball is allowed to be put through said hoop.

  2. Maria says:

    If you have ever watched a college basketball or NBA game, or even a high school game – they jump forcefully and at the net. So of course kids are going to do this. It’s just a given.

  3. Eric says:

    As a teacher I have to respectfully disagreed. A basketball hoop is not for jumping to touch or grab, but rather for deadening the ball through the hoop so that it falls straight down instead of bouncing away. I am constantly telling children to not jump to grab or touch the net for just this reason, which is generally met with eye rolls and argument…until someone gets hurt, then the school is blamed.

    So, in my eyes, the boys did contribute to their own injury by using the equipment in an improper way, and I would not doubt that at least at one point during the school year they were asked to not jump to play with the net.

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