Lawyers: JOIN NOW

Standards of Care Not Breached in Soccer Melee: Appeal Court

The Advocate Files: Personal Injury | Standard of Care

 

Standards of Care Not Breached in Soccer Melee

By David Hollingsworth

A recent ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal that examined the responsibility of a soccer association, team and coach to prevent violence in a match will not displace any of the existing principles of the Occupiers’ Liability Act, says Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth.

In the case, a soccer player brought forward the suit after an opponent punched and injured him during a game, he says.

“In dismissing this lawsuit, the evidence showed there was nothing that any of the defendants could have reasonably been expected to do to prevent the punch,” says Hollingsworth, principal of Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers.

The man who threw the punch was criminally convicted for the assault, he says.

In the suit, the claimant’s counsel argued the sports club, the provincial soccer association and three team officials were negligent, Hollingsworth says, adding that following a dismissal of the suit in 2017, the claimant launched an appeal.

The plaintiff suggested the defendants were liable under the Occupiers’ Liability Act as they did not ensure the playing field was safe and should have been able to predict the violence based on the defendant’s past behaviour, he explains.

Given the evidence presented to the court, Hollingsworth says the conclusion to dismiss the appeal is understandable.

“The court focused on the nature of the violent act itself, and whether it was foreseeable that the offending player would injure the appellant,” he says.

“The court found that it was an unpredictable act and that the offending player was aware that it was illegal for him to punch an opposing player. There was no prior history by this player to suggest that he would act the way he did, even though he had previously been verbally inappropriate with referees.”

Hollingsworth says this case also shines a spotlight on the standard of care required by a coach.

“It seems the court is saying that there is little impact that a coach might have had in preventing this injury. His player knew that it was not acceptable, but acted in an unpredictable and impulsive manner and no further training of a coach would have prevented it,” he says.

Hollingsworth says the appeal court decision was correct in its examination of the Occupiers’ Liability Act when it comes to the field of play and predicting injury.

“The court has found that there was no evidence to suggest the safety of the premises was in doubt, as there may have been if the condition of the turf had been in part to blame for the injuries, as an example.”

While the plaintiffs argued that the defendants breached several standards of care, including the standard for coaches, on-field supervision and player conduct, Hollingsworth says it was rightly decided that no standards of care were breached in any of these areas.

“The standard of care in a situation where a player acts in a reckless way relies very heavily on the facts of the case, and the general behaviour of the offending player and the other individuals involved,” he explains.

“The violence wasn’t foreseeable so those in charge could not have prevented it.”

 

Does this article speak to you? Was it helpful?

The points discussed above are from a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa that focuses his practice on personal injury and disability law. If you or a loved one has had a sports related injury, contact David Hollingsworth for a free, no obligation consultation.

View the profile of this Ottawa personal injury lawyer

 

This and other articles / posts originally appeared on the now defunct advocatedaily.com. As expressed in writing by that website’s owner, the articles / posts, part of a paid service provided by Advocate Daily, are the intellectual property of the lawyer and/or legal service provider who wrote, or for whom the article / post was written and they are free to use as they wish. All articles / posts redeployed on Top Lawyers are done with the expressed consent of the professionals mentioned in said article / post.

Sponsored Ads: Firms to Keep Top of Mind

Lawyers: Join Today!

  • Increase your online visibility.
  • Drive traffic to your existing website.
  • Grow your legal practice.
  • Don't see your city and/or practice area?
    Just let us know - We can add it!
  • Click here for details.

Call: (Local) 416-988-4LAW (4529)
Call: (Toll Free) 1-888-645-5228
E-mail: info@toplawyerscanada.ca

Experienced Lawyers To Help With Your Legal Needs

One of the things that differentiates Top Lawyers from other directories is our exclusivity. As our name suggests, we only list experienced lawyers that meet strict, minimum practice, experience and/or recognition requirements.

These requirements include:
(One or more of the following)

  • Awarded the recognition of “Queen’s Counsel” (Q.C. Designation)
  • Recognized by their Bar Association or Law Society as a “Certified Specialist”
  • Partner in a law firm and in good standing with the legal governing body of their province
  • Have practiced in their preferred area of law for a minimum of ten years

What does this mean to you, the general public?

You can have confidence in selecting and retaining the experienced lawyers listed here. They have "Been there. Done that" and bring their considerable knowledge and skill to support every case they undertake. After all...

"When you really need a lawyer - You want a Top Lawyer.™"

Connect with us on Google+