Fan Injured at Football Practice: Is there a Claim?

Football season is right around the corner, which usually means cooler weather and fun with family and friends. Unfortunately, for one fan at an NFL practice scrimmage between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers, this football season has not started off well.

This past week, a woman attending a joint practice between the Patriots and Panthers was injured when two players got into a fight and fell on her during their scuffle. Reports from the practice indicate that the woman’s ankle or foot was injured and swollen after the incident.

Fans sustaining injuries at sporting events happen fairly frequently and most commonly occur at baseball games with foul balls or hockey games with pucks inadvertently flying into the stands. However, those persons injured by stray baseballs or hockey pucks do not typically have claims for damages because they have “assumed the risk” of being injured simply by attending the event. Foul balls and stray pucks are not within a player or team’s control and are very common. But, a fight between two (2) players is not a common aspect of competitive sports and is completely within a player’s control, which raises an interesting legal issue.

Does this fan have a claim for damages against the players or the teams? Or did she assume the risk of being injured by fighting players simply by attending the event?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!