Appeals Court Sides with Paralyzed Texas Cheerleader in Suit Against Insurer

March 2, 2014

A federal appeals court has upheld judgment in favor of a former Texas cheerleader paralyzed in a tumbling accident who sued Nebraska-based insurance company Mutual of Omaha for refusing to pay his claim.

The lawsuit focuses on an insurance policy bought by Prairie View A&M University in Texas to cover its athletes. Wesley Patterson, of Houston, was a cheerleader at the school in 2008 when he was injured.

Wesley’s lawsuit says Mutual of Omaha reneged on a promise to cover serious injuries like his that result from the school’s negligence. The insurer argued it shouldn’t have to cover Wesley’s injuries because they occurred in a gym class taught by the cheerleading coach, not at an official cheerleading practice session.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Wesley.


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