Q: My 15-year old son recently joined the local boxing club. Whilst he was in training the coach told him to box with another boy of similar age, for three 1minute rounds. In the second round my son was punched in the stomach, which caused him to fall and hit his head on the ring floor. The coach phoned to tell me me about his accident and I immediately drove to the hospital.
The outcome is that my son suffered from concussion and has been diagnosed as having a brain injury. After the incident I checked the accident report form and noticed that my son had not been given any protective equipment to wear, including a gum shield and padded helmet. Is the boxing club liable for his injuries?
A: Many sporting injuries are unavoidable accidents, but in this case your son’s accident could have quite easily been avoided. Your son’s coach owed him a duty of care to see that risks in the ring were minimised. He was negligent by failing to provide your son with protective equipment. If your son had been wearing a helmet, his injuries could have been minimised or even avoided.
It is helpful that you have already seen the accident report form which can be used as evidence. It is also likely that there will have been many witnesses who can similarly confirm the accident circumstances.
The boxing club should have insurance cover in place to cover sports injury claims. Your son’s injuries may mean that he will be unable to work and may need professional care, possibly throughout his life.
As your son is under 18, he is classed as a minor. However, you can act on his behalf, as his ‘litigation friend’. You should seek advice as soon as possible from a reputable local personal injury solicitor who undertakes no win no fee work.
Article June 2019