27 February 2007

Nothing to See Here, Please Pass On

Steve Goff reported this morning on the lawsuit that has arisen from Hristo Stoichkov breaking the leg of an AU student during a scrimmage in 2003. Is this important? Not really. I would imagine DCU has a law firm on a nice retainer for just this sort of thing. It happens.

There are all sorts of reactions one could have, but mine is simply to note it and pass on. Do I feel anger at the kid for filing the lawsuit? Nope. Look, his leg was snapped in an absurdly reckless challenge. To me, while I know that I could get hurt while playing a game even where people are encouraged to stay on your feet, I have to admit that all reports were that Stoichkov was way over the line. Think of it as one step down from the hockey's famous "Cross Check to the Throat." Nasty, but tough to say if it was worth of a civil suit. Still, I don't have a problem with the kid for trying.

I understand that all sorts of people are going to be prone to drawing conclusions about "our litigious society" based on this, but I'm not. United/AEG should probably at least have offered to cover his medical bills, but even if they wanted to, doing so might have been viewed as an admission of culpability in future lawsuits. This will, I imagine, be settled and all involved can move onward. It was a sad, pathetic thing, and I hope the kid gets something for his pain. Not five million, but something. I really don't see this as a major story for the long term. This story doesn't deserve this many words. What happens, happens, and it means little in the big picture of things.

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At 27 February, 2007 12:39, Anonymous Nick said...

Good post. A quick note: under the Federal Rules of Evidence, evidence of an offer to pay for medical bills is not admissible in court. There is a public policy to encourage people to be generous in that way, so you can't get back-door nailed in court afterwards. Most states have a similar policy and a similar rule, although I do not know for sure about Maryland...

At 27 February, 2007 14:46, Blogger D said...

Nick: Wow, that's really interesting. I did not know that. So, I hope DC did pony up some cash for the hospital bill in that case, provided the rules are the same as you state them. Thanks!


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