Iowa Supreme Court Hears a QC School Safety Lawsuit

Apr 4, 2017

Looking from home plate to the visitors' dugout at Assumption High School in 2011. Ludman was standing in the lefthand doorway.
Credit Ludman vs. Davenport Assumption High School

How safe must fields and other facilities be for school sports ? That question will be argued Tuesday night when the Iowa Supreme Court hears a case in Charles City.

The case involves a high school baseball player from Muscatine who was hit by a foul ball during a game at Assumption High School in Davenport.

In July of 2011, Spencer Ludman was standing in the doorway of the visitors dugout at Assumption, when he was hit in the head, and suffered permanent brain damage. Two years later he filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming the school was negligent for failing to provide a reasonably safe visitors dugout.

In 2015, a jury in Davenport sided with Ludman, but reduced its 1.5 million dollar verdict because jurors decided he was 30 per cent at fault. It awarded him 70 per cent, or just over 1 million dollars.

 Assumption High School then appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court, saying sponsors of sports events could face "an avalanche" of lawsuits if it loses, while Ludman says the case covers important questions of safety for student athletes.