Tennis Forum banner
1 - 19 of 1578 Posts

· Registered
6,585 Posts
This is the situation Stephanie Myles described in her report about the accident.

According to Bouchard’s representatives, here’s what happened.

After a long day on the courts, with a nearly three-hour, three-set win in singles over Dominika Cibulkova then a match tiebreak victory in her first-round mixed doubles with Aussie Nick Kyrgios, Bouchard requested an ice bath late Friday night, after her press obligations were completed.

That was well after 11 p.m. To reach the ice-bath room from the locker room, players have to go through the training room.

At that hour, everyone was gone, and the room was pitch-black. As well, the floors had been cleaned and treated and were very oily.

A bit disoriented in the darkness, Bouchard slipped and fell on the floor – backwards – hit her elbow and then the back of her head quite severely.

She was examined by the medical staff at the tournament, then went to the hospital late that night but the classic symptoms of a concussion were nearly all in evidence: no vomiting, but migraine headaches the last two days, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, a very sore neck, and some dizziness.

· Registered
6,585 Posts
What's the amount she's claiming? The USTA will schedule her on court 10 next year. :hysteric:

They must believe she doesn't have much ground to stand on as there was always the possibility of a out-of-court agreement.
I thought the different parties were negotiating a settlement.
I don't know what Genie is seeking as far as damages but one thing should happen as a result of this suit.

Players' health, safety, and security must always be properly provided during tournaments.
For some reason, the USTA failed to do so and Bouchard suffered injury as a result.
This should not have happened and hopefully won't ever happen again.

· Registered
6,585 Posts
That would be weird, cause there was someone to whom she requested this ice bath and someone who had prepared it.
There's a big question mark over that.

When did athletes have access?
If if the locker room was shut down for the night, how did Genie get in?
Was an ice bath prepared for her?
Where was the staff?

I've got a lot of questions!

No doubt the USTA will claim some kind of negligence on Bouchard's part.
It's hard to imagine they want the bad publicity from a suit like this though.

I have read that Genie's father is very litigious and sued another party over some aspect of her career in the past.

The athletes should have a safe environment during tournaments.
I absolutely support that.
It seems that during a Grand Slam 24 hour access to the facilities is not unreasonable.
Some matches go late into the night, some players want to get an early start to their practices, warm ups, and treatments.

· Registered
6,585 Posts
Eugenie Bouchard files suit against the US Tennis Association, after the concussion incident at the US Open

Eugenie Bouchard filed suit Wednesday in US District Court, a civil action against the US Tennis Association in the wake of her accident in the locker room at the US Open last month.

Two counts of negligence are cited, along with a request for a jury trial.

No specific monetary compensation is mentioned beyond the fact that the amount requested exceeds $75,000 US.

But Bouchard's attorneys are asking for actual, compensatory and statutory damages, punitive damages "as allowed by law", pre and post-judgment interest, injuctive relief, attorneys' fees, taxable costs and "any and all further relief as this court deems just and proper."

****More to come ...***

· Registered
6,585 Posts
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
It will probably take years to settle.
I hope Genie is fairly compensated if the USTA is in fact at fault.

I really hope that all tournaments take the safety of the players and staff very seriously, review their protocols, provide proper training, and furnish a safe environment for all who use their facilities.

· Registered
6,585 Posts
You are putting words in my mouth. The medical staff from the USTA confirmed and put out a statement to the effect of Bouchard's concussion the day after the incident. You can find a lot of this information on the U.S. Open website if it hasn't been removed. However, it's not difficult to piece together a timeline to corroborate the chain of events of that night, what with electronic personnel credentials and security cameras on site; and from broadcast videos of Bouchard's matches and press interviews on and off court. Liability cases are always about negligence. The proof will be shown in the jury trial which may not even happen. Property owners in the U.S. are almost always held liable regardless when an accident occurred on their properties. If you care to google some of these cases - precedents, whether in regards to injury, property, or product liability, the plaintiff almost always won. Most of these cases are settled out of court because the insurance companies know they have to pay. They drag it out in order to get a more favorable settlement than a possible court judgment. If you carry a loan on your property, you must have insurance. Filing a civil lawsuit against an insured is the only way to get an insurance company to act because you cannot sue the insurance company directly. These cases are very common. The backlash against Bouchard mostly come from her usual haters, and people who don't understand U.S. laws, and because she is a more high-profile plaintiff than the average citizen. Bouchard is doing what most of us, if not all of us, will do in the same situation.
Thanks for pointing out the role of insurers in the majority of these cases.

· Registered
6,585 Posts
This is not 'easy money' for Genie.
Going to court is stressful and not something anyone undertakes lightly.

Genie is a tennis player.
Due to injuries suffered at the US Open she is unable to play tennis or pursue her chosen career which is how she makes her living.

Whether you like her or not, does anyone really think that Genie would prefer fighting a battle in court instead of battling opponents on the tennis court?

Genie is a tennis player.
She would rather be playing tennis.

· Registered
6,585 Posts
There was an unverified report at the time that a non-slip runner that was usually on the floor had been removed by the cleaners. If true, Genie could have reasonably assumed the runner was in place in the dark.

My point being there are many relevant facts we just don't know.
The court will determine those facts.

ETA: to add link to article from the time of the accident.
Eugenie Bouchard's concussion leaves many questions unanswered: DiManno
Eugenie Bouchard's concussion leaves many questions unanswered: DiManno | Toronto Star

By: Rosie DiManno Columnist, Published on Sun Sep 06 2015
NEW YORK—Frail, walking gingerly, head tucked into a hoodie, eyes shielded behind sunglasses to keep out the painful light, bewildered.
The look of concussion.
Mother and sister and other members of the Eugenie Bouchard retinue protected their girl as she stepped unsteadily towards her appointment with destiny: A last-ditch medical evaluation on the player’s fitness to continue at the U.S. Open.
But it was evident, even before Bouchard formally pulled the plug on her Sunday afternoon Round of 16 match, that there would be no more tennis on this weekend, perhaps no more tennis for quite a while to come.
Bouchard’s season might end here, on the brink of redemption.
She was anxious to continue, turned to each of her supporters and the medical experts for just a shred of encouragement. Wanted to take a turn on the treadmill to test her body and her brain but was dissuaded. Conceded, finally, to the inevitable: Done, down and out in Flushing Meadows.
Somebody has to wear this and it’s not Bouchard.
Tennis isn’t hockey or football, where head injuries are all too common. This is a generally controlled environment without bodies slamming each other into the blackout dimension.
Yet there was a blackout, as Bouchard described it to her team — in the pitch-dark training room where she slipped on a slick floor late Friday night, banging her head and her elbow heavily.
A training room with the lights turned off.
A wet floor.
No trainers present.
Shut off the lights and everybody go home, apparently. That lapse in attention — carelessness — has cost the 21-year-old Canadian everything: singles, doubles, mixed doubles, a big whack of prize money ($213,575 if into the quarter-finals next) and unrealized ambitions. Because Bouchard’s half of the draw was wide open, via high seeds knocked off early and injury retirement.

The stars had aligned for her and then they too faded to black.
There is a matter of liability in this mess, if not in a strictly legal context — and one hopes the Bouchard family doesn’t pursue that route because it’s a complication her blossoming career really doesn’t need — then certainly in a moral respect. But the Bouchards have been litigious in the past. Two years ago, her father Michel, an investment banker in Montreal, lost a four-year battle with the Canada Revenue Agency over an attempt to claim development-related expenses as a tax deduction, arguing those expenses (via a limited partnership he’d co-established for promising young players) had contributed to bringing his daughter to the verge of stardom.
Bouchard played two matches on Friday — winning her third-round singles event and the mixed doubles with Australian partner Nick Kyrgios. She was stiff and sore from all that tennis but otherwise in an exuberant mood. Before facing the media, Bouchard showered and told one of the attendants — possibly a trainer, it’s unclear — that she would be back immediately after the press conference for an ice bath. She was in the interview room at 10:30 p.m. and out at 10:59, according to the transcript log.
Assuming Bouchard went directly to the cold tub, there’s no explanation for why the area was unstaffed by a WTA trainer — that’s the common practice — and shuttered for the night.
Bouchard related it thusly to a close associate who spoke on the condition of anonymity: “This is all regurgitating what Genie told us. She told the trainer that she’s going to go do press and will want to do an ice bath. I think it was about 11:05 she came back into the locker room. In order to get to the ice baths, you have to go through the locker room and then you have to go through a training room. The training room was dark and the lights were turned off and everyone had left.
“So she walked through the training room, found her way back in to the ice baths and I think they had just cleaned all the floors . . . the floors were just being washed or whatever. She fell backwards and hit her elbow and on to the back of her head.”
Another source alleged that a carpeting runner which is usually laid through the training room had been removed.
It was only later, after leaving the Open site in one of the VIP vehicles which transport players, that Bouchard’s mother became alarmed by her daughter’s condition. A call was placed to a tournament doctor who advised them to go to emergency. Bouchard was seen at Mount Sinai Hospital, diagnosed with a concussion but not, it seems, kept overnight.
And it was a very uncomfortable night as the typical concussion symptoms took hold: sensitivity to light and noise, even voices around her; a migraine headache that still clung to Bouchard on Sunday; disorientation.
To be clear: This is the narrative coming from Bouchard. The United States Tennis Association, as of Sunday night, had not yet provided a timeline or made a statement, other than a one-line dispatch confirming Bouchard’s withdrawal.
The Westmount, Que., native reported on Saturday but withdrew from her two scheduled events on a doctor’s advice. The hope was she would have recovered sufficiently to play singles on Sunday against Italy’s Roberta Vinci. That hope was crushed shortly after her consultation with doctors Sunday afternoon. Unlike professional team sports, where a doctor suspecting concussion can order an athlete to withdraw, the final decision in tennis rests with the player. (Though the tournament referee and Grand Slam supervisor can override a decision to continue if it’s determined the player is not fit to be on the court, resulting in a default.)
Reluctantly, Bouchard bowed to the wishes of her small group, most especially her adamant mother. “She kept saying please, I want to play,” said the aforementioned source. “She was devastated. But it was the right decision.”
It wasn’t just the head; there was all-over pain emanating from the neck and elbow.
“It’s tremendously unfortunate,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier told Canadian reporters last night. “We’re all big fans of Genie’s.”
The question was posed: Does the USTA bear some responsibility in this unfortunate matter?
“I can’t answer that until I have more information. It’s a fair question.”
Widmaier wouldn’t go near the issue of legal culpability. “I certainly can’t comment on that.”
Far as anyone could remember, there has only been one previous instance of a player suffering concussion at this Grand Slam. That was Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, who collapsed on court here in 2010 and was removed in a wheelchair. Prior to the match she’d tripped on the bottom of her sweatpants during an off-court warm-up, tripped and hit her head on the ground.
It is too early to speculate on what this regrettable incident has cost Bouchard — how long she will be off the women’s tour while recovering, or if her many endorsement obligations will be compromised. She did not speak to reporters or issue a statement Sunday.
Her health is of paramount importance, obviously. Concussion severity is difficult to assess and recovery diagnosis notoriously imprecise.
But Bouchard should have been playing under the bright lights of Louis Armstrong Stadium on Sunday evening — not recoiling from the glare.

· Registered
6,585 Posts
First of all, there's insurance for that type of stuff (injuries preventing you from doing your job) so it's not like you have to rely on lawsuits to cover yourself for these kind of occurrences.

Second, a life-long injury is a completely different animal than what we're talking about here. Can it amount to millions if somebody can't work again, ever? Yes, surely. But that's not what's happening here... all she missed was a few weeks of competition and if her 2015 season is anything to go by, it's safe to say that she wouldn't have won any of the tournaments in question.
No doubt insurers are suing and counter-suing in the background.
I wouldn't count them out or count on them.

The sad fact is, Genie may be suffering a life-long injury.
We just don't know at this point.
I certainly hope she makes a full recovery.

· Registered
6,585 Posts
(now, if the USTA uses a contractor service and the USTA is held liable, the USTA might sue that service to recover their settlement costs, so then you'd get into arguments over what the usual protocol was, who gave what orders to whom, etc... Let's hope we don't go down that rabbit-hole.)
Thanks for your informative posts!

It's quite likely the USTA does contract its janitorial service out.
But I don't know.

There are so many facts in this case that no one on this board knows, despite those passing judgement on Genie for being 'greedy' or the US in general for being 'litigious.' Our system allows an injured party to redress perceived wrongs through the court system.
It's not perfect, but I think it's a good thing to allow the powerless to stand up to the powerful. Of course large corporations or powerful organizations would prefer those who challenge them to walk away silently instead.

Plaintiffs don't always win either. The parents of one of the murdered theater goers in Aurora, CO recently brought suit against a party in the gun industry and lost. They have been ordered to pay the defendant's costs at something like $500,000.
(I don't know the details, but it's been in the news lately.)

It's simply not true that most plaintiffs are 'happy go lucky,' trying to 'strike it rich,' or 'win the lottery' when they attempt to recoup damages caused by another's negligence.

Hopefully the facilities used by athletes and others will be safer in the future as a result of Genie's law suit.
No matter the outcome of this case, I hope that Genie is returned to full health and is able to continue her career as a professional tennis player.
I wouldn't wish what happened to her on anyone, fan or not.

Despite campaigns that villify trial attorneys, a good PI lawyer can be your best friend when you are the injured party and the little guy.
1 - 19 of 1578 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.