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DEFENDANTS' Alleged negligent supervision of middle school football team – Fellow students allegedly engage in dangerous horseplay with blocking sled – Plaintiff quarterback struck – Ankle fracture.

Suffolk County, NY

The plaintiff, at the time, was the quarterback of the middle school football team, who contended that as he was looking for his center to take snaps from him at practice, he was struck by a blocking sled being pushed as horseplay by fellow students. The plaintiff maintained that the use of blocking sleds for such a purpose was prohibited, and that the activity had continued for at least several minutes and that the coaches should have stopped it prior to the incident.

The defendant contended that a coach witnessed the incident, and the coach testified that the he looked over at the water break area to hustle the remaining boys over to the blocking sled when he turned around and saw plaintiff engaged in horseplay, by riding on top of the blocking sled with other players pushing it. The coach testified that their eyes met, and the plaintiff realized he was not to be on the sled and jumped off; during which the sled rolled over his ankle. The defendant also maintained that incident occurred before the coach could put a halt to the horseplay.

The defendant contended and the judge charged the doctrine of implied assumption of the risk, in that plaintiff was aware of the inherent risk of riding on top of a blocking sled, which said use of in practice is inherent in the game of football.

The plaintiff sustained a fracture of the right ankle, with affectation in the growth plate. He underwent closed reduction, as well as allegations concerning residuals with the growth plate that did not materialize.

The plaintiff is currently the starting quarterback on the high school varsity football team.The jury found that the defendant was not negligent.

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