Former Baseball Player Sues Coach, Claims Benching Him Was Bullying

In California, Former Los Altos High School baseball player Robbie Lopez and his parents are suing the head baseball coach Gabriel Lopez, claiming a “pattern of harassment and bullying.”

The suit alleges that Coach Lopez repeatedly denied Robbie the opportunity to take the field his senior year.  Robbie was a starting player three years prior to Coach Lopez being hired.  According to the suit, the Lopez family is seeking $150,000 or more from the school district and the coach.

Robbie’s father, Robert Lopez II initially complained to the school because he and the athletic director, Andrew Formano had a disagreement about a fundraising game.  Mr. Lopez believes that Robbie was benched as a result of not participating in the event.  The suit alleges that Coach Lopez punished other players that did not participated in the fundraising event as well.  In California, it is illegal to require students to fund raise in order to participate in public school activities.

Michael Ponce, the Lopez family’s attorney described Coach Lopez’s actions as an “abuse of the coach’s discretion,” regarding Robbie’s extensive time spent on the bench.  “These are repeated actions by the coach, which we — my client and I, as well as his father — feel are intentional. They’re targeted against [my client] specifically,” Ponce said.

 

September 1st, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Jury Awards $100,000 to Former Cheerleader Bullied by Coach

In Georgetown County, South Carolina, a jury returned a $100,000 judgment in a case filed against the Georgetown County School District and Denetta McCray by a former high school cheerleader and her parents.

Former cheerleader Shelby Jones filed the lawsuit against the Georgetown County School District for failing to take action when Jones’ coach repeatedly bullied her.  According to court documents, Jones was bullied for many months by varsity cheer leading coach, Denetta McCray.  The suit claimed the coach made derogatory comments about the plaintiff’s body parts which caused other students to laugh at Jones.   At one point, Jones mother called the coach, and McCray admitted to making the statements as a “joke.”

The Jones’s attorney, Bill Hopkins, said the incidents were also reported to the school, but the district allowed the coach to remain in her position.  Further, the suit alleges the school failed to properly investigate the incidents and did not interview multiple eyewitnesses to the bullying. However, the school’s principal suspended the cheer leading program for two weeks, which did not punish McCray’s behavior, but instead punished the cheerleaders.

After the verdict was announced, Andrea White, an attorney for the school district stated, that the district is reviewing the options available, which includes moving for a new trial and/or appealing the verdict to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

 

August 29th, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Woman Injured During Punkin Chunkin Contest Files Federal Lawsuit

Suzanne Dakessian filed a federal lawsuit over injuries that occurred during the 2016 World Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest in Bridgeville, Delaware.  According to the complaint, Dakessian was injured when the trap door blew off the air cannon and exploded, leaving her with serve and permanent injuries.

Dakessian claims the injuries resulted from negligence and wrongful conduct by the Punkin Chunkin event organizers, Delaware state officials, participants, and Discovery Communications.  At the time of the explosion Dakessian was managing a camera crew for Sharp Entertainment in connection with the production of a TV special for Discovery’s Science Channel.

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association said in an online post that the 2017 Delaware pumpkin-flinging contest is canceled.  The property owners where the event is held are reluctant to host this year because of the federal lawsuit.

August 25th, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Football Players’ Waivers Invalid, Appeal Allows Injury Lawsuit to Continue

In Pennsylvania, two former Lackawanna College football players can continue their lawsuit against the school for injuries that occurred during a 2010 tackling drill.  Agustus Feleccia alleges he suffered nerve damage to his arm, while Justin Resch says he suffered a fractured a vertebra.

Initially, a Lackawanna County judge said the waivers signed by the players protected the school, and dismissed the lawsuit.  However, the appeals court determined waivers were invalid because the college was allegedly grossly negligent for failing to use certified athletic trainers when the players were injured.  Lackawanna College has denied any wrongdoing.  Pennsylvania Superior Court revived the lawsuit, sending it back to Lackawanna County courts for further action.

August 15th, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Injured Rugby Player Satisfied with Presence of Medical Personnel at All Games, Drops Lawsuit

Rugby player Dan Nelson filed a lawsuit in December 2015 against Adirondack Rugby Inc., the town of St. Armand, Essex County, the village of Saranac Lake and Adirondack Health in connection to injuries he suffered during an August 2014 championship game.  Nelson fell to the ground and was unresponsive after Nelson’s head struck an opposing player’s chest and knee during an attempted tackle.

Rugby is known for its hard-hitting action and the suit claimed that event organizers were negligent for failing to have proper medical personnel on site to provide proper medical treatment.  Nelson, then 57 years old, suffered a traumatic brain injury, as well as spinal cord injuries, loss of memory, and other serious personal and emotional injuries.

The defendants denied any wrongdoing, and argued that Nelson should have known there was a chance he could get hurt.  Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad President Julie Harjung said the lawsuit affected this year’s tournament.  Harjung stated that Adirondack Health didn’t provide the trainers for the event as it had in years past, because the trainers feared being sued.  Harjung said there was one ambulance committed to the tournament, and either Advanced Life Support or Basic Life Support providers at the other fields that had the ability to call for more help, but that this was a huge drain on resources.

Nelson has decided to no longer pursue litigation in regards to his injury.  As a participant for nearly 40 years, Nelson stated that it was not his intent to jeopardize the tournament and he is pleased that medical personnel are now present at all games.

August 8th, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Woman Struck in Head by Discus Wins $350,000 in Settlement

Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska State Activities Association settled a lawsuit with Bernice Gorecki for $350,000.  The 83 year-old sued after she was injured by a 3.5 pound discus thrown by a student-athlete during a 2014 state track meet.  Gorecki alleged that Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska State Activities Association failed to keep spectators safe.  According to Gorecki’s attorney, David Mullin, Gorecki suffered “severe personal injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.”

Gorecki was standing in the visitor area of the track meet when the discus struck her in the head.  The lawsuit argued there was not a barrier between athletes and spectators, no verbal or physical warning that a discus had been thrown, and there was no safe area to watch the competition.

Since the incident, “Attention: Stay alert! Flying objects!” signs have been posted altering spectators as they enter the discus and shot put venues.  District spokeswoman Monique Farmer said additional signs have been posted that read, “Spectators entering the discus and shot put venues assume all risk of danger incidental to the event including but not limited to the danger of being injured by equipment as well as flying discuses and shot puts.”

August 4th, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Chicago Bulls Sued After Mascot Injures Himself then Injures United Center Employee

Rose Garcia is suing former Benny the Bull mascot, Barry Anderson for injuries that occurred at a 2015 playoff game.  During a break, Anderson as Benny was injured while running on the court.  With help, Anderson limped off the court and that’s when Garcia, an employee of United Center at the time of the game, claims Anderson injured her left shoulder.

Garcia alleges that Anderson pressed his fuzzy red hand on her shoulder with his full body weight.  Garcia immediately heard a popping sound and felt a sharp pain in her left shoulder and required medical assistance.  Which according to Garcia’s attorney Lucy Vazquez, resulted in a torn rotator cuff in her left shoulder.

In May 2017, Garcia filed a personal injury lawsuit in the Cook County Circuit Court, claiming damages in excess of $50,000 as a result of the incident.  The lawsuit named Barry Anderson, Chicago Bulls Limited Partnership and Chicago Professional Sports Limited Partnership.

This is not the first time Anderson has been sued for his antics.  In 2008, Benny the Bull was sued for a “high-five gone awry.” A Naperville dentist suffered a torn biceps injury as a result of a high-five by Anderson.  Anderson retired as Benny the Bull before the 2016-2017 season.

 

August 3rd, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Pole Vaulter Injured by Indoor Pothole Sues Olympic Stadium

Greek pole vaulter Kostas Filippidis is suing the owners of the Athens Olympic Stadium after he was injured in the indoor training facility.  The injury occurred during a June 2017 training session.  The stadium is owned by the Greek state and hosted the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

A pothole in the runway of the pole vault jump caused injury to Filippidis’ left knee.  Filippidis and his coach Dimitris Kyteas, claim they warned the stadium personnel numerous times about the pothole in the runway of the indoor pole vault jump.

The lawsuit filed by Filippidis’ lawyer, Vassilis Chirdaris in the Athens Court of First Instance is asking for 530,000 euros ($625,000) in compensation for Filippidis, a gold medal winner in the 2014 World Indoor Championships.  In the lawsuit, Chirdaris said on behalf of the 30-year-old athlete, “The serious injury caused him to stay out of the stadiums and in a particularly important time for himself, missing three top international competitions.”

August 2nd, 2017 at 3:43 pm

High School Football Coach Sued For Bullying

In Nevada, three former Galena High School football players have filed a lawsuit against their head coach. The suit alleges that the three boys were bullied by the coach. When they reported the abuse to the school’s principal, he told them that bullying was banned in the classroom, but not on the football field.

The lawsuit states that the incident arose over a testosterone-enhancing supplement, Boost Elite. The supplement was permissible under the Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, and all three of the boys used it. The coach, however, took issue with this and verbally berated them in front of the entire team, ripped up their captain’s papers and threw them in the locker room trash can in order to humiliate them. Shortly after this incident, the coach kicked all three of the boys off of the team.

The lawsuit claims that the coach’s behavior was inappropriate and the principal’s lack of action violated both school policies and state law. The boys’ attorney states, “…this conduct is as prohibited on the field as it is in the classroom. This coach was over the top and played a significant role in harming these boys and their future.”  All three of the boys were star players and had hopes of receiving college athletic scholarships. The suit seeks to gain compensation for economic loss, pain and suffering, and legal fees.

February 17th, 2017 at 11:01 am

NASCAR Settles Lawsuit With Fan Injured At 2013 Xfinity Race

NASCAR has recently settled a lawsuit with Alan Davis—a fan who suffered an injury at a 2013 race. Davis filed the suit in 2015 against both NASACR and Daytona International Speedway. By coming to the settlement, NASCAR avoided having their crash and fencing reports made public.

According to the compliant, Davis was sitting at the top of the grandstand during the Xfinity Race when a wreck occurred on the track. The crash sent heavy debris flying into the stands, injuring over 30 people. Davis suffered a blow to the head which resulted in a catastrophic brain injury. According to his attorney, Davis’ life was changed by the injury and he will require medical care for the remainder of his life. NASCAR has refused to release the crash report and the exact terms of the settlement have not been made public. “Safety is first and foremost,” NASCAR’s vice president says. “Our goal is getting that right and making sure our fans can enjoy the most safe and entertaining environment possible.” Davis and his attorney hope that this lawsuit will be a catalyst for change.

February 16th, 2017 at 10:52 am