Kamloops woman suing school district after breaking ankle, wrist playing soccer

Soccer game lawsuit filed

A Kamloops resident is suing the local school district following a 2018 soccer game at Sa-Hali Secondary School, where she fractured her foot and wrist after falling into a hole containing a sprinkler head.

The incident happened during the evening of June 26; the plaintiff, Denise Roberts, was 40 years old at the time.

According to her June 12, 2020 notice of civil claim, her left heel went into the hidden hole, causing her to lose her balance, fall and sustain the aforementioned injuries. 

Roberts names School District 73 as the defendants in her claim, alleging the incident was caused by SD73's negligence. The document claims the school district failed to place any warning signs or cautionary markings to alert field users of the hidden hole and sprinkler head. It also alleges SD73 failed to properly inspect the field for dangerous conditions caused by hidden hazards. 

Other injuries suffered by Roberts include a concussion, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, insomnia and loss of energy, court documents show. 

"The plaintiff's quality of life has been diminished permanently," the claim says. 

Roberts also claims she has suffered a loss of income and a loss of income-earning capacity. As a result of the fall, the local woman continues to incur various medical and rehabilitation expenses.

Roberts is seeking damages for pain, suffering, loss of amenities and loss of enjoyment of life, as well as damages to cover future cost of care and future loss of income. An exact dollar amount is not given.

In its response to the civil claim, filed on July 21, SD73 denies it was responsible for the maintenance, condition or safety of the sports field at the time of the fall. It says the field was the responsibility of the City of Kamloops and/or the Kamloops Women's Soccer League (KWSL). 

According to a third party notice filed on July 21, 2020, SD73 and the city entered into a joint use and facility protocol agreement with respect to the high school field. The agreement made maintenance of the field the partial responsibility of the city.

Furthermore, the third party notice says the city entered into a rental permit agreement with KWSL and/or the BC Soccer Association (BCSA) for that specific field.

"Among other things, the field rental permit stipulated that, prior to the soccer game giving rise to the incident, KWSL was required to inspect the sports facility and satisfy itself that the sports field is in a state of good repair and meets all the requirements for the use intended without any defect or deficiency capable of causing injury," reads the notice. "If KWSL thereafter chooses to use the sports field, then KWSL and/or BCSA will be responsible for the safety of all persons involved in such use of the sports field." 

SD73 also says Roberts signed a waiver prior to playing in the league, and that her claim is barred by the waiver.

"The plaintiff waived her right to commence a legal claim for any injury or damage, including the incident, arising out of her participating in the KWSL and/or her use of the sports field at Sa-Hali Secondary School," reads the school district's response.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. 

The City of Kamloops, the KWSL and the BC Soccer Association have 21 days to respond to the third party notice.

More Kamloops News