Sports Law • Risk Management

katharine's blog

September 11, 2010: Ocean Sports: 10 Tips to Avoid Sharks

Last night, I swam a mile at the YMCA as I try to do at least 3 times each week. A fellow attorney, Mike Wong, was swimming in the lane next to me. I asked Mike how the Waikiki Rough Water 2.4 mile swim went on Labor Day. Mike said that he was pleased with his swim, but was more interested in telling me about a relay that his team had swum in the Molokai Chanel. He described the rough water and then, said with an apparent twinkle in his goggle covered eye that “one of our colleagues showed up”. It didn’t take long before I caught on. “You mean a shark?” I asked. “Yes, a 14 foot….” He replied. I didn’t catch the make and model of the shark as I was so amused by his reference to the shark as our colleague.

September 5, 2010: Football Coaches Keeping Quiet about Head Injuries

University of Hawaii Warriors did well in their football season opener against USC. Although they lost 49 to 36, they certainly held their own. Unfortunately, UH starting quarterback Bryant Moniz suffered a hard hit on the helmet in the third quarter. This seemed very serious to me and I was certainly concerned about whether Moniz would be medically cleared to fly to the East Coast to play their next game against Army. All that I heard on the news was that Moniz sustained a “possible head injury” or an “apparent head injury”. No one was saying that he had a concussion, because to do so might have meant benching Moniz even if it turned out that he did not. Apparently, medical clearance in such instances can take a week or more and this can certainly impact an athlete’s season.

August 26, 2010: Deadly Court Side Objects

A few years ago, I was appalled to hear that my former triathlon training buddy was severely injured playing volleyball. I’m sure that you are thinking that she probably twisted her knee or somehow messed up her shoulder. It was nothing as ordinary and commonplace as that. She dove for a ball, crashing head on into a concrete barrier located a few feet outside of the sand volleyball court. Her injuries were so serious that she landed in ICU and she is still suffering the effects of those injuries today, because of the negligence of the volleyball tournament directors and possibly others.
Lessons can surely be learned from this horrible accident.

August 21, 2010: Liability for Deadly Weapons

Every time your sports or recreation organization gives someone the keys to a motor vehicle, you are essentially lending a deadly weapon. Just open any newspaper and the proof is there. Motor vehicles are hitting and killing people even more than guns. Pair a young, old, drunk, buzzed, high, cell-phone talking, texting, eating, distracted or depressed driver with a motor vehicle and hope that everyone in the car and all that come close survive. If you gave the driver permission to drive your car and someone is injured or killed because of that driver’s negligence, you might find yourself or your organization on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

August 16, 2010: Triathlon Risk Management: Part I---Swimming

Triathlon race directors must necessarily put a tremendous amount of effort in risk management in planning a triathlon. By the same token, each triathlete should have his or her own risk management plan with every training ride, swim or run and every race. Afterall, it is the athlete that has to endure the outcome of any injury or accident, which will certainly impact his or her ability to continue training and racing. This is part 1 of a series of blogs on triathlon risk management. The following are some guidelines for triathletes who wish to manage their risk in training and competing in the swim portion of the event.

August 11, 2010: Parking Lot Risk Management

In my law practice, I have a surprising number of cases that involve parking lot motor vehicle accidents. I have also noticed that in the last 3 years, since I’ve been walking to work several times per week, which involves walking through various parking lots, that there are many hazards. What does this have to do with sports and recreation? If you are a facility owner or manager, you have probably figured this out. With every sports and recreation facility there are parking lots for patrons to park.