Confidential Arbitration Award for Team Member Assaulted by Coach

In sports, the coach holds tremendous power and control over the members of his team. The influence can yield athletic achievements and success. And, unfortunately, the influence can be abused by the coach engaging in sexual relations with the team member. A Raynes & Lawn lawyer was asked to represent a teenage girl whose high school coach had followed the typical pattern of a sexual predator: progressive physical contact with rewards for her consent and threats when she hesitated. Despite numerous red flags which should have alerted the school, the coach was allowed unrestricted access to the student, until she told her parents.

The Raynes & Lawn lawyer helped connect her with an effective counselor who mapped out a course of treatment and identified her future needs. Although the School denied any responsibility, they agreed to a confidential arbitration process. Even though discovery confirmed that the School could have and should have known about the coach’s sexual abuse, it denied responsibility, forcing the case to arbitration. The arbitrator ruled completely in favor of the student and awarded significant damages that reflected the effect on her. The School fired the Coach.