This case takes place in Florida and involves a young man, who was severely injured during a football drill during practice. The plaintiff was a high school student who was a starting player on the varsity football team at an all-boys catholic high school. As a function of his participation on the team, the plaintiff was expected to attend practice after school hours five days a week. During one practice, the plaintiff was required to participate in a specialized drill for running backs which required players to wear a heavily weighted vest while performing a series of agility drills, which placed a great deal of stress on player’s joints. During one portion of the drill, the individual coaching the players required them to jump onto a raised platform, then to jump back down to the ground 10 consecutive times. The plaintiff was participating in this aspect of the drill when, upon landing on the ground from the raised platform, he suffered tears to multiple tendons in his right leg as well as a serious dislocation of the knee joint. The plaintiff will require several surgeries and it is unlikely that he will ever be able to play football again.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please discuss your background in football training.
- 2. How do you ensure to conduct drills in safe manner to avoid injury to the players?
- 3. Have you ever reviewed a similar case?
Expert Witness Response E-001519
This case is right in my area of expertise and I am glad to assist. I been a football coach for major university teams for a number of years and can speak to the industry standards that a knowledgeable coach should know. This drill as described sounds a little over the top to me and I have watched thousands of practices in my life. I am able to opine as to whether this drill was unconventional or dangerous and whether the coach should have used better judgement to prevent fatigue and injury. Usually, drills that involve additional weight in plyometric exercises must be carefully designed and monitored, as the risk of serious injury is increased significantly. The safety of this particular drill seems questionable at best. I am glad to help with this case and happy to discuss further.