What to do if my 11 year old attended an extracurricular sports activity through his after-school program and he was injured but we signed a waiver?

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What to do if my 11 year old attended an extracurricular sports activity through his after-school program and he was injured but we signed a waiver?

He came home complaining of pain in his foot which progressed to diagnosis of damaged nerve in ankle. About 5 weeks later, after doctor visits, X-rays and home schooling, I’m looking at MRI costs, specialists, etc. Can I hold the organization resposible for this? There was no safety training and my son said the skates were loose and there was not enough safety gear. He was playing ice hockey.

Asked on April 5, 2013 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you will likely have difficulty holding the organization liable. Not only did you sign a waiver, but perhaps more significantly, people are held to "assume the risk" of the normal and common injuries from sports they choose to participate in. That means that if an injury is a fairly common incident of a sport--and ankle, etc. injuries are not uncommon in skating and hockey--the person accepted the chance of that and cannot sue. Between the waiver and assumption of the risk, it will be  an uphill battle to hold the organization liable.

That said, given how much money is likely at stake, it is well worth your time to consult in some detail with a personal injury attorney, to see if there is a way to hold the organization liable.


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