Articles Posted in Assault and Battery

Where video footage involving an altercation between a high school basketball coach and a student from another school was open to more than one interpretation, summary judgment for the coach on the student’s assault and battery claims was reversed.

In Kelley v. Root, No. W2022-01625-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2024), plaintiffs were a high school student and his mother, and plaintiff student had been involved in a multi-person altercation between two opposing high school basketball teams. Video of the altercation showed defendant coach making contact with the student, and the student then losing his balance, falling, and injuring himself. While the coach maintained that he was separating plaintiff student from one of his own players and used no more force than necessary, the student argued that the coach “became an active participant in this fight and forcefully punched [the student].”

Plaintiff filed this case asserting various claims against both the coach and the board of education. The trial court granted summary judgment to defendants on all claims, but the Court of Appeals reversed that ruling as to the claims for assault and battery against the coach.

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