can it be? A youth sports lawsuit that actually has merit?


1 Response to “can it be? A youth sports lawsuit that actually has merit?”

  1. April 14, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    When I read the first sentence, I was all set to go on another rant about idiots who sue whenever something goes wrong. But read this from The Richmond Times and tell me who the REAL idiots are?

    Virginia Tech and men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg are being sued for $2.5 million by the family of a high school player after they say he suffered serious head injuries at Greenberg’s basketball camp in June 2009.

    According to the suit filed by attorney Eric D. Yost of Staunton, improper supervision and facilities at Virginia Tech’s War Memorial Gym were to blame for Austin Schuler sustaining a skull fracture and hemorrhage on the area around his brain.

    The Schuler family also has named Greenberg’s camp as a defendant in the lawsuit. Greenberg declined to comment Wednesday.

    Greenberg’s camp and Virginia Tech also are being sued by the boy’s father, Gary Schuler. Greenberg declined to comment Wednesday.

    Austin Schuler was at the camp with his team from Woodrow Wilson High School in Fishersville when he fell headfirst into an unprotected portion of the gym’s cinderblock wall. He was unconscious for about a minute and bled from his left ear, the suit claims.

    There was a 14-inch space between the floor and the padding on the wall, according to the suit, which states that the space should be no more than 4 inches, per NCAA and American Standard for Testing and Materials regulations.

    Moreover, the distance between the gym’s baseline and wall was 33 inches, 3 inches shorter than the minimum distance recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations. The NCAA mandates 6 feet of space between the baseline and wall, according to the suit. Both organizations encourage 10 feet of space.

    The game also was being officiated by a college student, rather than someone from southwest Virginia’s high school officials’ association, as promised by the camp’s brochure, the suit claims.

    Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said War Memorial Gym is used only for recreational sports, not NCAA or high school events, but was unsure of the facility standards required for rec sports. He said Tech does not run its coaches’ summer camps, but rather, the coaches lease the facilities from the school as independent contractors.

    “It was not a university activity,” Hincker said.

    He did not want to speculate on how that might affect Tech’s response to the suit. He said the school’s attorneys were in the early stages of reviewing it.

    The suit claims Schuler’s family incurred “substantial” medical bills and that he has been “permanently disabled.” Schuler didn’t require surgery but had to wear a brace to repair his skull fracture, Yost said. Schuler recovered enough to lead a functional life but has some hearing and balance issues, and is at a greater risk for future injuries, Yost said.

    “The big issue is any time you’ve had such a terrible injury, a subsequent head injury can be catastrophic,” Yost said.

    Yost said the defendants will be served with the suit this week and have 28 days to respond before the litigation process begins.

    He said they were notified of potential legal action soon after Schuler was injured.

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