“My daughter was injured playing softball at school. She broke her ankle and needed a rod and pins inserted in her leg to repair it. Can she sue the school?”
Injuries incurred while engaging in recreational activities may lead to a successful claim against the school. But while playing any sport, every particpant assumes that she or he will be subject to some risk that is not present in the classroom. The question of school liability comes down to handling the risk in the best way possible.
The standards for school conduct are different if the activity occurred during school hours in a physical education class versus an interscholastic competition. Besides seeing if written safety policies were followed, the court would have to look at the equipment involved (was it certified by the National Operating Commttee on Standards for Athletic Equipment?). Were the parents fully apprised of all the risks? How much training and experience did the coach have? Was the coach ever evaluated? Were there any prior complaints about the coach? If the safety equipment was certified, did the athlete have adaquate training so she knew how to use the equipement? Did the athlete have proper training to avoid injury? Was the athlete in good physical condition so she could avoid injury? Was the school equiped to render medical assitance so as to avoid further injury to the athlete?
There are many more areas of inquiry depending upon the cirmstances. Without spending more time discussing specifics, it is impossible to determine if the school was liable.