Softball sliding injury case strikes out with one defendant

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Apr 16, 2013 in Personal Injury

A lawsuit filed by the parents of a teen injured in a softball practice will go to trial in June with one less defendant, thanks to a recent ruling by the Berkeley County, West Virginia, Circuit Court. The girl's parents filed the personal injury claim in 2011 after the 14-year-old suffered serious injuries to her leg and ankle during a sliding exercise.

The family originally sued the softball league and the team's coach. In their original complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that the league did not maintain its softball fields and forced their daughter to slide when she did not want to. The court recently dismissed the coach as a defendant, leaving only the claims against the league.

In May 2010, the girl was participating in a team practice devoted to sliding. She expressed her reluctance to participate and told the coach she had never slid into a base before. The field was hard and unforgiving, according to the complaint. The girl's attempt ended in a crushed left ankle, tibia and fibula.

The injuries resulted in at least three surgeries and have kept her from playing sports. They have also limited her mobility severely. Court documents show that she is able to walk three blocks from her home but cannot return without resting first.

The case has been complicated for the defendants by the arrest of one of its expert witnesses. A former high school coach was scheduled to testify regarding the condition of the field and the coach's qualifications when, in July 2012, he was arrested and charged in connection with an illegal drug sale.

Defense counsel informed the court that they have found two experts to take his place. Both will testify that the field was maintained properly and that the coach's instructions did not violate the standard of care.

Source: West Virginia Record, "Coach dismissed, expert arrested in softball sliding lawsuit," John O'Brien, March 28, 2013

Our firm works with clients who have been injured in incidents similar to the one discussed in this post. If you are interested in learning more about our Charleston, West Virginia, practice , please visit our website.

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