Ex-Ball Player Files Injury Suit Against Ohio University

In recent years, professional athletes have started to file more and more injury claims related to a wide variety of injuries they’ve suffered. Due to the relationship between athletes and the teams they work for, these are typically worker’s compensation claims, as opposed to civil lawsuits. However, a recent case involving a collegiate level athlete alleges that negligent behavior on the part of Ohio State’s baseball coaches led to permanent disability.

Injured As a Freshman

In 2012, freshman catcher RyLee Rogers suffered a tear in his labrum, which is a piece of cartilage that helps keep the shoulder socket in place. This is not an especially uncommon injury in sports, and many athletes are able to successfully return to full strength after corrective surgery. Rogers underwent such a surgery, and returned to the team the following year.

How Was the Coaching Staff Negligent?

The lawsuit alleges that head baseball coach Rob Smith was aware of Rogers’ injury, but required him to fully participate in various throwing drills and practices - Rogers’ legal team claims players were aware that, if they complained about soreness or injuries, they would likely be dismissed from the baseball team. Rogers trusted his coaching staff to not unreasonably expose him to the risk of reinjury, but unfortunately, he suffered a second torn labrum in an alumni game.

The lawsuit argues that Smith was negligent when he ignored the first torn labrum Rogers suffered. It also claims that his insistence that players play through their injuries and pain was negligent, and ultimately led to a permanent disability for Rogers. Furthermore, it claims that in addition to Rogers’ injury, Smith was aware of similar injuries to a number of other players in the same two-season span.

What Does This Mean For Athletes?

If Rogers’ legal team is able to successfully prove that the coaching staff was negligent and that their negligence led to serious and permanent injury, he will likely be able to recover compensation. However, this may also spark a change in the culture of collegiate athletics, as these institutions realize that pushing players through injury may come back to haunt them.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, contact the Kansas City personal injury attorneys at DiPasquale Moore. For years our firm has stood for the rights of injury victims, and we take tremendous pride in helping our clients obtain fair compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered.

Schedule a free consultation today to learn how we can help.


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