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Can a coach be sued for failing to supervise kids during a sports game?



Yes, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, coaches may be sued for failing to supervise children during practices or games. However, depending on the facts, state employees may be immune from liability. So, for example, a public school coach might not be able to be sued for negligence resulting in injury to a school student. In addition, there are notice requirements under both Pennsylvania and New Jersey laws which require those who intend to bring a lawsuit against a government agency to file a notice prior to doing so. Failure to timely file this notice may bar the claim. Therefore, it is important to discuss the case and facts with a knowledgeable sports accident lawyer immediately.

Non-state employees, such as a private school coach or other organized sports coach, could face liability for failing to supervise a child during a sports event. However, more importantly, the school or organization itself is the more likely defendant. A school, organization or facility may be liable for negligence which includes failure to supervise, in addition to, failure to maintain play areas/fields or failure to provide proper training to employees. For more information about negligence on a playing field, click here.

For example, a child who trips over a large tree root which has grown into a corner of a soccer field may have a claim against the organization as well as the facility responsible for maintaining the field. Again, while the coach could be liable, the more likely defendant is going to be the organization or facility.

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