Partner Ian Bauer recently co-authored an article for the American Association for Justice’s May issue of Trial magazine. Titled “Justice and the Pursuit of Sport,” the article provides guidance to trial attorneys on how to bring civil cases on behalf of abused athletes. Co-authoring the article is Katherine Starr, a two-time Olympian and founder of Safe4Athletes, a non-profit dedicated to providing athletes with a safe and positive environment free of abuse, bullying and harassment.
The article highlights the prevalence of abuse in sports, including youth sports, due to inherent power imbalances between athletes and coaches. One statistic cited in the article that shines a spotlight on the sheer scale of the problem comes from the Foundation for Global Sports Development, which estimates between 2% and 20% of young athletes experience sexual harassment or abuse at the hands of coaches or authority figures in sports.
Ian and Katherine then detail the causes of action that a trial attorney can bring on behalf of an athlete abuse survivor, including claims that can be made against individuals as well as claims that can be made against the sports organizations charged with ensuring the safety of the athletes. The article also discusses statutory remedies for athlete sexual abuse and possible federal claims, including those arising from Title IX.
The article ends on best practices for framing such cases, including how to work with a liability expert, as well as special considerations, such as jurisdiction-specific concerns and how to influence and educate jurors.
The full article is available to read as a PDF here. You can learn more about PCVA’s capabilities in athlete sex abuse cases here.