Horror Stories About What Can Go Wrong

Serious lawsuits and injuries can happen in your sports organization.

Spectator InjuriesAsk yourself: Are you fully protected?


Sports are supposed to be fun, but in the insurance business we often hear “horror stories” about serious lawsuits and injuries. Besides being an insurance advisor, I am also an attorney and I know how these “horror stories” can turn into fear and worry. Will you be sued? How will you pay the medical bills?

I wanted to share these cases with you so that you will have a better understanding of some of the risks that you may face in the running of a sports organization. Below are descriptions of actual cases.

General Liability Lawsuits

  • Assistant coach was struck in the face by a pitched baseball while warming up the pitcher. FL $1,001,857
  • Children swinging on gate knock another child down. TX $82,572
  • Child sustained injuries after his arm went through a glass window. FL $77,200
  • Player driven into 1st down marker, fracturing arm. CT $75,000
  • Child’s arm caught under tire after falling off parade float. NC $345,050
  • Player injured while playing in creek. TN $20,000
  • Spectator fractured both ankles after stepping in a washed out grassy area.  TN $41,781
  • Parent fell in hole while walking between fields. FL $65,000
  • Spectator was struck in the jaw by an overthrown ball while standing in the spectator area. Player who threw the ball was warming up outside of the playing field. LA $326,212
  • Player drowned in a lake while on a team picnic outing. SC $319,403
  • Spectator suffered dislocated elbow after being struck when strong winds blew a tent over. NJ $62,346
  • Baseball player was hit in mouth by bat of another player while in on-deck circle. FL $41,908
  • Spectator suffered leg laceration from metal bolt protruding from bleachers. RI $40,000
  • Spectator was hit in the head by a thrown ball during warm-ups resulting in head fracture and blood clot. MS $31,300
  • Coach was struck by baseball by one of the players from another team while coach was leaving the field. LA $13,898
  • Spectator fell off the grandstand and suffered head injury. SC $4,487
  • Youth football player was scolded by coach, humiliated, and forced to quit the team. CA $19,626
  • Infant was struck in head by foul ball. FL $5,000
  • Coach was observing tryouts from bleachers and caught foot and fell tearing ACL. NJ $12,906
  • While sliding into third base, claimant suffered laceration to lower leg. OH $15,829
  • Scorekeeper hit in head by foul ball resulting in concussion. MS $6,249
  • Spectator hit in face by baseball bat that flew out of batter’s hand. SC $5,078
  • Spectator behind batting cage hit in head by ball. FL $75,000
  • Person injured when pinned between scoreboard table and golf cart. MS $50,000
  • Driver’s vision obscured by signage, kills passerby when making turn. FL $119,867
  • Children injured in bleacher collapse. LA $81,000
  • Children climbing on statue at awards banquet damage water fountain. IL $4,789
  • Spectator amputates finger while playing on swinging gate. IL $41,739
  • Parent lacerated head after tripping on uneven walkway to field. PA $25,514

Directors & Officers Liability Lawsuits

  • Alleged race discrimination for not allowing a team to join a football league resulted in no judgment or settlement being paid but in legal fees. WV $24,715
  • Alleged race discrimination for not allowing a team to join a baseball league resulted in no judgment or settlement being paid but in legal fees. MS $28,912

Volunteer Thefts – Crime Policy

  • President of baseball league took money from league funds and did not repay. FL $3,230
  • Director in charge of special projects took funds from BBQ and candy sales. TX $5,861

Equipment Losses – Equipment Policy

  • Baseball insuranceWater damage to uniforms and equipment. MI $57,547
  • Fire damaged equipment and baseball items. NY $62,380
  • Theft of bleachers, coffee machine, concession stand damaged. MO $11,790
  • Theft of football equipment. CA $28,918
  • Storage trailer broken into and uniforms stolen. PA $37,688

Injuries – Accident Policy

  • Player fractured leg sliding into 3rd base.  $15,866
  • Softball player fractured leg sliding into home base. MS $69,398
  • Player in dugout hit in head by foul ball. FL $81,320
  • Player’s face injured during practice when no helmets were worn. FL $99,263
  • Assistant coach struck in face by pitched baseball while warming up pitcher. FL $104,000
  • Base runner suffered tendon/ligament damage to knee as a result of contact with home plate while sliding. TX $16,953
  • Infielder suffered fractured nose as a result of being struck by a thrown ball. LA $13,266
  • Pitcher suffered a fractured elbow as a result of being hit by a batted ball. NC $10,497
  • Base runner suffered a knee injury as a result of sliding foot first into a fixed base. TX $9,495
  • Youth football player was tackled and femur fractured when player fell on him. OH $18,218
  • Youth basketball player injured knee. TX $17,159
  • Adult soccer player suffered detached retina. CA $19,522
  • Adult soccer player suffered ACL tear. NV $18,872
  • Player breaks arm in fight during football game. OK $63,567

You should be concerned. But, there is a solution.

The insurance programs offered by Sadler & Company provide superior protection at the lowest possible cost.