Sports Injuries | Assumption of Risk | New York Personal Injury Attorney

Very few venues in our society can top the sports arena as sites of accidents resulting often in serious injuries.

The subject of the injury may be either a participant in the sport, or an observer of a sporting event :  The race car driver, the wide receiver, the baseball player sliding into third base, going for the lay up;  or being hit by a foul ball in the bleachers, injured by an out of control race car, slammed by a wild hockey puck into the stands.    More disturbing, the little leaguer injured in any of a wide variety of sports engaged in by youngsters, and supervised by well meaning volunteer adults.  Add to this the myriad sports engaged in by school teams at all levels of age and proficiency, and what emerges is a plethora of sources for voluminous potential litigation.  Just imagine, a lawsuit for every injury incurred in the sporting arena !

Enter the doctrine of “Assumption of Risk”!

What this doctrine essentially means is that a person may not recover for any injury which that person sustains, when that person voluntarily exposes him or herself to a known dangerous activity, event or possible consequence of such activity or event.   Being tackled, flying pucks, speeding baseballs, outfield collisions, race car crashes–all known and anticipated possibilities to anyone participating in, or watching the event..  Injured by one of these or literally scores of other “every day” sporting  mishaps,  and you want to sue–“fuggedaboudit”!!   “Assumption of Risk” – you knew, or darn well should have known, about the risks before you started.   The courts will not be sympathetic.
Of course, the doctrine of “Assumption of Risk” does not, by any means, eliminate each and every injury incurred during the course of a sporting event from being litigated.  Especially in the case of younger athletes and school age children, the courts will look to factors that may well overshadow the “Assumption of Risk” doctrine.
The child injured when sliding into third base?   Was the coaching “negligent”?  Was the child properly taught how to slide,  minimizing potential  injury to him/herself or the opposing team’s player?  Did all the equipment used meet the required safety standards?  Was the base movable and detachable?  And of course, these issues can, and are, raised by experienced attorneys, in every situation where a child in particular, but adults as well, are seriously injured in a sports accident.  While the doctrine of “Assumption of Risk” looms very large indeed, in the field of sports injuries, a close examination of legitimate additional reasons for the injury having occurred should be pursued in all such potential cases. If you feel that this includes you please contact one of our experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorneys to assess your situation.


Strip Searches In New York Schools | Zero Tolerance in the NYC school system |

Are Strip Searches Allowed in New York Schools?

Increasing violence and other illegal activity occurring in our schools has seen the proliferation of “ZERO TOLERANCE” policies in many New York schools and in entire school districts around our nation. These policies, of necessity, very often involve the search of a student by New York school officials who seek to find out if the prohibited item, whether a weapon or an illegal drug, is in the student’s possession.

The question arises as to when such a search is permissible and, even more seriously, how intrusive may that search become. In June, 2009, the United States Supreme Court decided a case involving a 13 year old school girl (Susan). Another student had accused Susan of giving her drugs. The suspicion was that Susan had brought prescription strength ibuprofen to school. School officials (two females) ordered Susan to strip to her underwear, and then pull her upper and lower undergarments away from her body to see if the suspected drug was on Susan’s person. The judge that wrote the opinion for the court called this search an “…embarrassing, frightening and humiliating search…..” The decision of the Court did not give school officials a clear cut guideline to determine if a strip search is permissible. It rather set forth some guidelines that may well continue to make it very difficult for school officials in the future to decide whether or not a strip search would run afoul of the law. The guidelines the Court seemed to establish as factors:
–the extent of the danger of the contraband in question (for example: ibuprofen vs. heroin);
–how well founded is the suspicion that the contraband is hidden in an intimate place.

As Justice Souter wrote in deciding that this particular search was Constitutionally ILLEGAL:: “The content of the suspicion failed to match the degree of the intrusion” especially in light of the “nature and limited threat of the specific drugs.”Some school districts, such as the New York City Department of Education, simplify matters and ban such strip searches under any and all circumstances. Do keep in mind that as far as searches in general (not just strip searches) are concerned, the Constitutional requirements to allow a search by school officials (“a moderate chance of finding evidence of wrongdoing”) are LESS demanding than those that must be followed by the police (“Probable Cause”). Even an attempt to simplify this area of law, as we tried to do here, indicates the potential complexity involved when dealing with searches of all kinds. The services of a well seasoned New York City attorney, knowledgeable through experience in this difficult area of law, at as early a stage as possible, is invaluable in protecting your rights.


Alleged DWI Accident Kills 11 year old on the Henry Hudson In NYC

As Reported  by

An 11-year-old girl has died after the car she was riding in overturned, and the driver has been charged with driving while intoxicated and vehicular manslaughter.

The accident happened early Sunday on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan.

Police say 31-year-old Carmen Huertas was driving with seven children, including her own daughter, to a sleepover at her Mount Eden home just before 1 a.m. Sunday when she lost control of the car.

The vehicle reportedly veered off road, flipped several times before hitting a tree.

Some girls were thrown from the car from the force of the impact, cops said.

Leandra Rosado, 11, of Chelsea, was taken to Saint Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan, and died there.

The other girls, ages 11 to 14, suffered broken wrists, broken legs, and contusions, according to a hospital spokesman.

Huertas’ 11-year-old daughter broke her wrist, he said.

Another tragedy in New York City involving speeding and children leads to death and unnecessary suffering of a family.  This is further proof that as a parent you must not only be directly responsible for your children but also for the lives of others.  As Car Accident Attorneys in New York City we see such preventable tragedy too often.

Don’t just think about your life, think about the lives of others. Imagine life with out your loved ones before you decide to endanger the lives of others, especially children, by driving recklessly or intoxicated.  One poor choice could be monumental.


Lead Poisoning – Are our children still at risk?


While the annual number of children suffering from lead poisoning in New York City continues in the low thousands, Childthe totals have been significantly reduced  over the past decade or so.   This is the direct result of a program of prevention instituted by New York City.

The main causes of childhood lead  poisoning are either peeling lead  paint or lead dust.  Both result from deteriorating lead paint that is then ingested by infants and toddlers crawling on floors or licking fingers after playing with dust covered  toys.

Prolonged exposure to lead  by children can result in severe developmental disabilities that can have serious lifelong effects.   It is extremely important that parents take the measures suggested, to see that this does not occur.

In New York City, all pediatricians are required to test blood levels for lead at  BOTH one and two years old.   If there is any indication at all that there may be a lead  paint problem in the children’s home, then the pediatrician  must also test all children up to age 6.   These tests are extremely important since  most children with elevated blood lead levels show  NO SYMPTOMS  of any sort.   The only way then, to assure  no future injury, is to have the required blood test.

Parents who suspect the presence of lead paint in their home may also call the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (call 311) and it is very likely an inspector will be sent to inspect the home.  Landlords are  required, even before a family moves into an apartment, to remove all lead paint hazards if it is known that a young child will be among the tenants.  There are penalties, in addition to civil liability in a lawsuit, for failing to do this.

Generally speaking, a blood lead level in a child of 10 or above will be sufficient  to seriously consider a civil lawsuit.  Many other factors affect the determination of whether a lawsuit is appropriate or sustainable.  Experience in bringing lead poisoning lawsuits ought to  be a mandatory prerequisite in choosing an attorney, should the need arise.

Lead Poisoning Fact Sheet

Posted by New York Personal Injury Lawyer Steve Orlow