Playground Fall


James Weagley, MS, ATC, Recreation Expert
Case Description/Summary: The plaintiff, a young boy participating in a summer camp program, fell from a playground structure when he was startled by a counselor yelling for him to get down. He sustained injuries, which required surgery and left him with residual pain and loss of motion. The plaintiff claimed that the playground was unsupervised during the time of the incident.
Analysis: According to the plaintiff’s attorney, the boy had been hanging on the outside of the playground structure and was startled when a playground supervisor yelled at him, causing his fall. Per the training manual, staff members were encouraged not to yell when they observe a child not complying with playground rules, as it might frighten them and cause an accident. The playground supervisor’s deposition indicated there were 30-50 children at the camp. The staff consisted of 10 counselors/counselors in training, a supervisor and assistant supervisor. Each staff member received a manual and training prior to the start of camp. The manual section entitled “Playground Safety” specifically required staff to be proactive by insuring proper use of all equipment. Staff members were required to demonstrate the correct method of use before the children were able to go on the playground. The plaintiff received instruction from the summer camp staff about proper use of the playground equipment and his mother reported providing instruction to him as well. Continue reading “Playground Fall”

Little League Baseball Coach Makes Big Error

Little League Baseball Coach

James Weagley, Recreation Consultant ::::
Case Description: The plaintiff, a 10 year old boy, was seriously injured while pitching to his coach in a backyard batting cage. Two boys had just finished taking turns hitting off a pitching machine when the coach arrived and instructed the plaintiff to pitch to him in the batting cage. On the second pitch, the coach hit a ball directly back at him. The boy didn’t have adequate time to catch the ball, and the ball struck him in the face causing facial fractures and a concussion. The plaintiff has residual problems including poor vision, headaches and cognitive difficulties resulting from the physical trauma caused by this event. Continue reading “Little League Baseball Coach Makes Big Error”

Piggy Back Drill

Football - Piggy Back Drill

James Weagley, Physical Education and Recreation Consultant ::::

Case Summary: The plaintiff, a high school football player, attended a summer football camp at a local university with other high school teammates. The head varsity football coach recommended that members of the team attend the camp if they intended on competing for a varsity or junior position next season. Plaintiff’s Annual Athletic Pre-Participation Exam indicated no restriction from sports for health related problems and he had no previous injuries or problems with his knees. On the day of his injury, he did not notice any problems with the field and reports having no issues with fatigue prior to the drill. He was injured on a “Piggy Back Drill” in which he was required to carry another player on his back for five yards. He reports that he took a couple of steps, and his right knee collapsed on him.
Continue reading “Piggy Back Drill”