Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Decide Whether Colleges Must Have Qualified Medical Personnel at Athletic Events

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether colleges must have qualified medical personnel present at intercollegiate athletic events to protect student athletes from injury. Our firm is counsel for the student athletes who filed this lawsuit after they suffered severe injuries at a football practice at which there were no licensed trainers present. The Court is expected to decide the case later this year.

In the case, Feleccia v. Lackawanna College, the trial court dismissed both of the athletes’ claims, concluding that they had signed a waiver that barred any claims and that the college had no duty to them to provide qualified medical personnel. On appeal, the Superior Court ruled that the waivers were unenforceable because of the nature of the college’s conduct; this decision is consistent with Pennsylvania law, which at a minimum requires athletic trainers to have a physician readily available for consultation.

The Supreme Court will also decide whether the release/waiver the athletes signed is enforceable. The waiver contained language similar to the information on the back of amusement park and ski lift tickets.

Attorneys Daniel J. Siegel and Nicole Kratzer of the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC served as appellate counsel before the Superior Court, along with Attorney Andrew Motel, who filed the case and represented the plaintiffs before the trial court. Our office will represent the Plaintiffs before the Supreme Court.