Massachusetts Court Nixes Suit against Youth Soccer Groups

March 11, 2009

The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that a boy whose leg was broken when a goal post flipped over cannot sue nonprofit youth soccer associations for negligence.

Dustin Welch was hurt on April 10, 1998, when a goal post struck his right leg. At the time, the 12-year-old boy was not playing, but he was a participant in a soccer program run by the Sudbury Youth Soccer Association and the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association.

Welch sued the associations in 2006, claiming he was seriously injured because they failed to properly secure the goal posts.

The associations argued they could not be held liable under a state law that grants immunity to nonprofits conducting sports programs.

The Supreme Judicial Court agreed Monday, upholding a Superior Court judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit.

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