On September 7th, in Flushing, New York, a high school student named Blake Hunt broke his neck while attempting to make a tackle in a scrimmage and that resulted in him being paralyzed from the waist down. Although Blake was a senior in high school, he only weighed 140 pounds which compared to other high school football players is pretty small. He was participating in a scrimmage versus bigger guys and he already was not one hundred percent since he was still recovering from a leg injury and he was attempting to make a tackle when he got trucked by the stronger running back sending all of his forward momentum backwards. This resulted in his head snapping back and him breaking his C5 vertebrae.
Once the injury occured he claims there wasn’t proper care for him and no one certified was there to help him immediately after he was injured. He also claims that he was too small to be playing versus these bigger guys and the coaches didn’t help him and give him proper training and techniques to be able to use on the field versus these bigger guys. The defendants couldn’t argue with his claims of improper supervision, lack of qualified medical staff, and negligence. He then went on to sue the Department of Education, the Parks and Development, and the Public Schools Athletic League. He sued them for lack of supervision, sport training, trained medical staff, and improper matchmaking. His claim of omission was submitted and that his injury could have been prevented with better supervision, care, and training. Blake sustained lifelong damages from his injury causing him to be paralysed from the waist down. The result was that he was awarded 8 million dollars in compensation. The court case didn’t even go to trial since it was clear to everyone that the defendants were negligent. But were they really negligent though?
He was a senior in high school and usually seniors play against other seniors, not freshman and underclassmen typically. It also doesn’t say whether or not this was his first year playing football or if he had played prior to this year which would mean he would have had more than at least one year of training. Also being such a small senior (140 pounds) he had to have understood the risks he was taking by stepping out on the field versus bigger opponents and if he wasn’t comfortable with that, he shouldn’t have played or he should have submitted a special request to be a senior who plays with freshman or people of the same size and skill as him.
I agree that he should get compensation for his life altering injury but at the same time he had to have understood the risk that he, a 140 pound senior was taking by stepping on to a football field versus bigger opponents participating in a collision sports.
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