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High school wrestler pinned by spotlight

There is always an element of risk in high school sports. In wrestling for example, two athletes are in a ring attempting to drive the opposing wrestler to the floor with only their strength and brute force. As many Maryland fans of high school athletics understand, injuries often happen during high school athletic events. There are even doctors or trainers on hand to respond to injuries. Some injuries, however, can never be anticipated.

In a wrestling match in South Dakota, one High School wrestler was injured when an 80-pound spotlight fell from the ceiling and landed on his head, shattering glass all over the wrestling matt. The wrestler was prepared for a fight, but was not prepared for a blunt object striking him from above. He was quickly taken to the hospital where he received stitches.

An injury such as this may give rise to a premises liability claim by the high school student and his parents against the organizers of the event and the school district. The school will likely need to prove that they exercised reasonable care in organizing the event and rigging up the lighting system. If they had knowledge of a dangerous condition and they failed to fix the problem, they will most likely be found liable for the injuries.

The reason for the spotlight was an event called the "Madison Square Garden" wrestling match. The match occurs every year where the school focuses a giant spotlight on the wrestlers and pumps music. While event like this are exciting and they encourage community participation, it is imperative that organizers always make safety a priority.

Source: Huffington Post, "Light Fixture Falls On Wrestler Michael McComish During High School Wrestling Match," Jan. 22, 2013

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