Sayreville Public Schools could face $1.5M lawsuit

January 23, 2015 / Football
When we write about hazing and how schools should have preventative measures in place, it’s largely to protect student-athletes. But it’s also about safeguarding your institution.

Sayreville High School’s district in New Jersey, where this fall football players allegedly hazed their teammates in brutal fashion, now might face a $1.5 million lawsuit, with victims claiming the team wasn’t properly supervised.


“My educated guess is this case is going to get resolved outside of court because I don’t think either side in litigation like this wants to have a jury decide what happened and how much it’s worth,” said attorney Michael F. Rubin, whose New York City-based law firm Kelly & Rubin represented two Mepham High School (Bellmore, New York) players who were allegedly sodomized by teammates during a 2003 preseason training camp.

“It’s a tough call for any lawyer and the parent of a child in a situation like this to allow that child to testify in open court about something as personal and damaging as a sexual assault case.”

Insurance policies vary from district to district, so it’s still unclear how that would play into a potential lawsuit: 

Jeanette Rundquist, communications officer for the New Jersey School Boards Association, speaking in general, said almost all boards have insurance that would cover errors and omissions by employees. 

“However, like all insurance policies, certain types of conduct may be excluded from the policy,” she said. “It really depends on the policy purchased by the district.”

Sayreville ended its football team’s season, suspended some coaches and the athletic director has since resigned. Football returns in 2015, but the cloud over the program won’t go away anytime soon. Now you have a potential lawsuit.

This is just more evidence of why athletic programs need to take these issues seriously.

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