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Paralyzed Gymnast Gets $25.5 Million Settlement

Posted on Apr 02, 2010

A Florida man was awarded $25.5 million after being paralyzed while using a gymnastics facilities equipment.

Shane Downey was a 23-year old gymnast. One afternoon, he went to pick his wife, a fellow gymnast, up from a gymnastic facility where she worked as a coach. While he waited for his wife, he was invited by another coach at the facility to try their Tumbl Trak, a long, trampoline-like piece of equipment used to assist gymnast in tumbling passes.


Downey complete a couple tricks successfully on the Tumbl Trak. He then attempted a series of tumbling that ended in a double backflip. Downey landed on his head and suffered a spinal cord injury, which resulted in quadriplegia.


Downey sued the gymnastics facility for failing to properly supervise him while on the Tumbl Trak. Downey claimed that the coach who invited him to use the equipment should have properly supervised him or advised him to not perform the maneuvers, which she knew was dangerous.


The jury awarded Downey $25.5 million after the judge returned a directed verdict against the defendant on liability.

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Shelly Leeke
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