Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Agrees to Address Issue of Duty of Care Owed to College Athletes

According to an article in today's Legal Intelligencer by Max Mitchell, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an Order on November 29, 2017 agreeing to hear an appeal in the case of Feleccia v. Lackawanna College, No. 359 MAL 2017 (Pa. 2017), which involved the issue of what standards colleges have to adhere to in order to meet their duty of care towards student-athletes engaged in college sports.

The Feleccia case arose out injuries to two college students at a pre-season football practice. 

At the trial court level in Lackawanna County, Judge James A. Gibbons ruled on a motion for summary judgment that waivers of liability executed by the athletes barred their recovery.  The trial court also ruled that the student-athletes had assumed the risk of their own injuries in playing college football.  Here is a LINK to the Tort Talk post on the trial court decision.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed after finding that issues of fact precluded the entry of summary judgment.  The Tort Talk post on that decision can be viewed HERE

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court noted that the more specific issues presented by the case involved whether colleges are required to have medical personnel on hand at athletic events, and whether clauses releasing the school from any and all liability is enforceable.

The Supreme Court's Order granting the appeal and stating the issue can be viewed HERE.

Source:  "Justices Take Up Case on Colleges' Duty of Care to Student-Athletes," by Max Mitchell of the Legal Intelligencer (Dec. 5, 2017).

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