Professional tennis player suing USTA for negligence after slip and fall at U.S. Open

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”


Last year, Canadian-born tennis player Eugenie Bouchard was the sport’s next big star.  The 21-year-old reached the final of Wimbledon and the semifinals of the Australian Open and the French Open.  Her ranking peaked at No. 5 in the world.  Today, however, Bouchard can’t step foot on a tennis court, and a recent suit suggests that negligence on behalf of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is to blame.


Eugenie Bouchard Tennis Slip and Fall Attorney Charlotte Injury LawyerAccording to the civil suit filed October 14th in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Bouchard slipped on a “slippery, foreign, and dangerous substance” in the women’s physical therapy room after playing a mixed doubles match at the U.S. Open last month.  As a result of the fall, Bouchard suffered a severe head injury and was forced to withdraw from the tournament.


Bouchard’s attorney, Benedict Morelli, is a well-known personal injury attorney who recently secured a massive award for comedian Tracy Morgan, who was injured in a car crash last year.  Morelli claims that the substance was a cleaning agent that was supposed to be left on the floor overnight when the room wasn’t being used.


“If they were going to do that, they should have closed the door and locked it off,” Morelli told the New York Times.  “And they didn’t do that.”  Furthermore, the suit alleges that the USTA failed to provide Bouchard with any warnings whatsoever of the floor’s slippery condition.


Because of the head injury, Bouchard has been forced to withdraw from a number of tournaments.  Consequently, her world ranking continues to drop.  At the time of the accident, she was No. 25 in the world.  Today, she is No. 39.  If the two sides go to court, a jury will decide if Bouchard’s injuries were caused by the USTA’s negligence and what sum to award Bouchard for the tournaments and endorsement opportunities she has missed.


Slip and fall accidents are part of a line of cases known as premises liability cases.  Injuries sustained from slip and fall accidents can greatly affect the quality of a victim’s life and, as illustrated by Bouchard, their ability to earn a living.  These injuries may also carry a significant financial burden.  Medical care and treatment may cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Without the ability to earn money, the financial stress surrounding the situation can be very difficult to overcome.


North Carolina property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of their premises for the protection of lawful visitors, and whether the care provided is reasonable must be judged against the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances.  This duty includes the “duty to exercise ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition and to warn the invitee of hidden perils or unsafe conditions that can be ascertained by reasonable inspection and supervision.”


In order to show negligence by a property owner, a “plaintiff must show that [the property owner] either (1) negligently created the condition causing injury, or (2) negligently failed to correct the condition after actual or constructive notice of its existence.”


If you are injured in a slip and fall case, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.



About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.






Image Credit

By Brendan Dennis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons



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