Court rules USTA liable for Eugenie Bouchard slip, fall she claims has hindered her career

Jason Owens
A court has ruled that the USTA is liable for <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1107689/" data-ylk="slk:Eugenie Bouchard">Eugenie Bouchard</a>’s slip and fall injury at the U.S. Open. (Reuters)
A court has ruled that the USTA is liable for Eugenie Bouchard’s slip and fall injury at the U.S. Open. (Reuters)

A U.S. district court in New York has ruled in favor of Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard in her lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association for an injury that forced her to retire from the 2015 U.S. Open.

Bouchard sued the USTA for damages after she slipped and fell on a wet locker room floor during the Grand Slam event in 2015. She hit her head, suffered a concussion and had to pull out of the tournament.

Bouchard testified in court on Wednesday that she walked into the locker room wearing shorts, a sports bra and flip-flops when she slipped on the floor wet with cleaning chemicals and fell on her bare back.

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“I screamed, ‘Oh my god, it burns,'” Bouchard told the jury, according to the New York Post. “I was wearing a sports bra … my back was on the floor … It was all over me.”

Bouchard’s lawsuit claimed that the USTA was liable for the “slippery, foreign and dangerous” substance that was put on the floor without warning.

The USTA countered that it was Bouchard’s responsibility to be aware that the locker room was being cleaned at 11 p.m. when her fall occurred.

U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer and locker room staff also testified in the trial.

Bouchard’s lawyers claim that in addition to forcing her out of the U.S. Open, the injury has contributed to her recent career struggles. After being ranked as high as No. 5 in the world and reaching the 2014 Wimbledon final, Bouchard is now the world’s 116th-ranked player.

The damages portion of the trial will begin on Friday. The court ruled that the USTA is 75 percent liable for damages while Bouchard is responsible for the remaining 25 percent. The amount Bouchard was seeking in unspecified.