The litigation process can be intimidating to anyone who is not an attorney, expert witness, or frequent party to lawsuits. Much of the literature in risk management that addresses this process is more academic than practical. The following description is based on actual litigation experience. Please note that this process may vary from state to state.
What Steps Do You or Your Sports Organization Take if You Are Served with a Complaint?
1. Do Not Delay. A complaint is the document that describes the allegations that are being made against you. In civil lawsuits defendants must answer the complaint within a time period from the date served, which is oftentimes only 20 days.
2. Do You Have Insurance? Call your insurance agent, broker, or company immediately and tell them about the lawsuit. They will ask for a copy of the complaint to determine whether your policy provides a defense and/or indemnification.
An incident report is a form filled out by designated personnel after an injury is reported, describing details of the incident. A form should be created for this purpose and made available to coaches, management, security, volunteers and others who are tasked with this. Incident reports should contain the following information:
One of the best sport classes my son participated in was a sports sampling course. One week was spent playing tennis, the next soccer, the next basketball, the next baseball. In this class, young children worked on the basics of the skills required for each sport but the main purpose of the class was to develop gross motor skills in a fun way that kept the kids' interest. I was thrilled to have my son participate in this developmentally appropriate approach.
When it comes to my own children I try to protect their image. I am concerned for how photos of them might be distributed or used and I value the privacy of my family. As such, I do not post pictures of my children on my social media and I deny my permission to organizations that ask to use images of my children for marketing purposes. Generally speaking, though, these organizations may not be required to ask for my permission on whether they can take their picture or how they use photos they take. However, before using the image of others, you should be aware of the legal rights of others. Violating others legal rights can cause you legal consequences.
It is always disturbing to learn of the occurrence of abuse in sport. Abuse can come in many forms: sexual, physical, and emotional. Coaches, teachers, instructors, staff, volunteers, medical personnel, fellow athletes and others who have access may perpetrate an abuse. Youth especially need protection, since they are a particularly vulnerable population. Consequentially, abuse is damaging. So how can we prevent abuse in sports?