Can’t sue a college for volleyball injury? | Excursion Immunity Does Not Apply

Plaintiff Mary Anselmo attended Los Angeles Pierce College(Pierce College). On March 4, 2016, Anselmo traveled to Grossmont College as a member of the Pierce College Women’s Volleyball team to participate in an intercollegiate beach volleyball
tournament. Anselmo alleged she was injured during one of the tournament games when she dove into the sand and her knee struck a rock in the sand.

Anselmo alleged only one cause of action for a dangerous condition of public property. Grossmont demurred, asserting the field trips and excursions immunity provided in section 55220 of title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. “All persons making the field trip or excursion shall be deemed to have waived all claims against the district or the State of California for injury, accident, illness, or death occurring during or by reason of the field trip or excursion.”

The narrow question the Ninth Circuit faced was whether this immunity extends to an injury sustained during an interscholastic athletic competition by a member of the visiting team caused by the negligence of the home team’s district.

Holding: Grossmont, as the receiving or hosting team, had the
responsibility to provide a safe beach volleyball court, in accordance with any applicable regulations. Field trip immunity under section 55220 does not extend to Grossmont as the host of an interscholastic athletic competition for injuries suffered by a player on a visiting team merely because her team traveled to the site of the competition.

Full Opinion:

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
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