Eugenie Bouchard takes legal action after suffering a concussion at the U.S. Open
Suing the United States Tennis Association and United States National Tennis Center
Eugenie Bouchard, who was this year named the world’s most marketable athlete, is taking legal action potentially worth “millions and millions” of dollars after suffering a concussion at the U.S. Open in New York.
The 21-year-old is suing the United States Tennis Association and United States National Tennis Center. According to the civil suit – a copy of which was obtained by CNN – filed Wednesday in a U.S. District Court, she slipped, fell and suffered a “severe head injury” after playing a mixed doubles match on September 4.
Last year’s Wimbledon finalist is seeking both actual, compensatory and statutory damages along with punitive damages, and wants a jury trial.
“We could be talking about millions and millions,” Bouchard’s lawyer Benedict Morelli told the New York Times.
The suit alleges that: “Ms. Bouchard entered the physiotherapy room of the women’s locker room when she was caused to slip and fall by a slippery, foreign and dangerous substance on the floor.
“The Defendants caused or created this slippery, foreign and dangerous substance to be on the floor, or knew or should have known that the slippery, foreign and dangerous substance was on the floor.
“The Defendants failed to provide Ms. Bouchard with any warnings whatsoever regarding the aforementioned dangerous condition.”
After the incident, Bouchard pulled out of the event and has since played one match – retiring against Andrea Petkovic at the China Open last week – while withdrawing from tournaments in Wuhan, Tokyo and this week Hong Kong.
The player Bouchard was due to face in the fourth round at the U.S. Open, Roberta Vinci, went on to upset Serena Williams in the semifinals, before losing the final to compatriot Flavia Pennetta.
Even though Vinci thumped Bouchard about two weeks earlier at the Connecticut Open, the Canadian was – based on ranking – favored to defeat the Italian.
When asked to comment on the lawsuit, U.S.T.A. spokesman Chris Widmaier told CNN.com the governing body’s longstanding policy is not to discuss “ongoing litigation.”
The WTA didn’t immediately comment on the lawsuit and a request to speak with Bouchard, made through her agent, wasn’t immediately acknowledged.
Bouchard’s concussion capped a stuttering season.
After beginning the year with a solid quarterfinal showing at the Australian Open, her results dipped. Hampered by injuries and instability in her coaching set up, Bouchard entered the U.S. Open having lost 14 of her previous 18 matches.
It was a complete contrast to 2014, when the “Genie Army” was born and Bouchard became the first player from her country to make a grand slam singles final, at Wimbledon. Prior to her fortnight at the All England Club, Bouchard made the semifinals in Melbourne and Roland Garros. She soared to a ranking high of fifth in October.
SportsPro, a UK-based magazine, named Bouchard the world’s most marketable athlete – assessing her “marketing potential over the next three years” – last May. Second on the list was Barcelona football ace Neymar, while in third place came golfer Jordan Spieth, who has won two majors in 2015.