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Tennis pro settles U.S. Open slip-and-fall injury lawsuit

Here at Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP, we represent people with sports injuries as well as victims injured because of dangerous conditions on property, called premises liability lawsuits. Both of these types of cases can be factually and legally complex, so it is important for anyone so injured in New York to consult an experienced New York personal injury attorney to understand the potential legal remedies for recovery of just compensation. 

Premises liability injury at sporting event 

Last week, The New York Times reported that Canadian tennis professional Eugenie Bouchard settled her personal injury suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the United States Tennis Association, often referred to as the USTA, and an affiliated entity.

Bouchard had sued for damages for head injuries, including a concussion, allegedly sustained in a tiled physiotherapy room within the women's locker area when she slipped on cleaning fluid on the floor and fell during the 2015 U.S. Open at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York. 

Her complaint states that there was no warning of the slippery floor, alleging that the injury was caused "solely by the reason of ... carelessness, negligence, [and] wanton and willful disregard ..." 

She alleged that because of the injury, she had to withdraw from the rest of her events at the tournament, where she had already reached the fourth round, and from other upcoming tournaments. She also claimed that the accident had caused her to lose sports endorsements. The complaint states that she endured severe pain, economic loss, medical bills and loss of life's enjoyment. 

At the time of the fall, she was ranked 25th in the world. Currently, she is ranked 116th. 

The trial 

On February 22, the jury found USTA 75 percent liable for her injuries, assigning Bouchard the remaining 25 percent responsibility. Before the damages phase of the trial, the parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement, so the amount of damages agreed to are unknown. 

In her complaint, however, she had requested recovery for: 

  • Actual, statutory and compensatory damages
  • Punitive damages (meant to punish a wrongdoer)
  • Interest
  • Injunctive relief (an order by the court for the defendant to take a particular action)
  • Legal fees
  • Legal costs 

This case raises many issues that can arise in sporting injury cases as well as in premises liability matters. Anyone in New York with similar injuries should speak as soon as possible to a knowledgeable lawyer.

 

 

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