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Jury Agrees Student Athlete Assumed Risk for Injury

Obtained a defense verdict in a Bucks County jury trial. ​The plaintiff and defendant, both high school seniors, were participating in the annual spirit event in the school gym. Two student athletes were called to compete against each other in the tire tug of war. The plaintiff claims that as he and the defendant approached the tire running at full speed, the defendant left his feet and “torpedoed” head first into the plaintiff with the specific purpose of preventing the plaintiff from grabbing the tire. Unfortunately, the plaintiff suffered a fractured wrist and subluxated tendon that required surgery. The defense argued it was expected that competitors would run as fast as possible toward the tire and that they would have to lower their heads, shoulders and torso in order to pick up the tire. The entire competition, including the subject incident, was video-recorded by the high school. Both sides used the video evidence to argue it supported their position. After a brief deliberation, the jury concluded that the plaintiff assumed the risk and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.

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