By Jonathan Safran, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
A Wisconsin cheerleader, Brittany Noffke, was a student at Holmen High School near La Crosse, Wisconsin. While practicing certain moves and students before a basketball game, Brittany suffered a head injury. The stunt required Brittany to stand on another cheerleader’s shoulders and then required another student to catch her or spot her while performing the spot. Brittany fell backward but the student standing behind her did not catch her. As a result, Brittany fell to the ground and suffered head injuries. In Wisconsin, these type of cases require a Plaintiff / injury victim to prove recklessness in order to recover compensation for injuries. This can be a tough standard to prove. Fortunately, these onerous legal standard does not apply to all other States. A negligence standard would be a more reasonable standard to follow in Wisconsin and other States.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a cheerleader (Brittany Nofke) could not bring an action for injuries against another student or the school district for injuries that she sustained as a result of a fall. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that cheerleading is a contact sport. The Court also ruled that the stunt in question which involved the cheerleader falling from a height and being caught by another student did not create a “compelling danger” to students. In this case, the other student failed to catch the cheerleader and she suffered head injuries when her head struck the ground.
The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators estimate that approximately four million people are involved with cheerleading activities and events.
You can read more about this story at Former Wisconsin Cheerleader Loses Case Against School District and Another Student.