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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Education Law
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How do I address my son being publicly humiliating him in

Customer Question

How do I address my son being publicly humiliating him in the middle of practice in front of all his teammates and friends by calling him a “CANCER”, a terrible player, telling players (his friends) not to associate with him and I have been told by another player and my son he was called a “piece of shit”. All of this is being done by coaching staff
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 17 days ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 17 days ago.

I'm very sorry to hear that coaching staff would treat any player on the team like that. Highly disrespectful and unprofessional, to say the least. Unfortunately, I don't see legal grounds for a lawsuit here. At best, ***** ***** possibly be a case of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED). Emotional distress is typically defined as mental distress, mental suffering or mental anguish. It includes all highly unpleasant mental reactions, such as fright, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, mortification, shock, humiliation and indignity, as well as physical pain. It can be hard to prove, because what one person considers humiliation, another might consider gentle teasing.

The elements of a prima facie case for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress are:

(1) outrageous conduct by the defendant;

(2) the defendant's intention of causing or reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress;

(3) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and

(4) actual and proximate cause of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct.

In other words, you would have to prove that being called names and humiliated in front of others caused your son "severe or extreme" emotional distress and that he suffered damages as a result. Being understandably upset, angry and embarassed isn't compensable damages. If, on the other hand, he was so traumatized that he ended up in a doctor's care, that might be damages. My opinion is that you would have a difficult time getting this in front of a judge.

You could always discuss the matter further with a local personal injury lawyer. Generally, the consultations are free, and if they do take the case, it's usually on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay anything unless the lawyer recovers.

All that said, the coaching staff must be regulated (there has to be someone over them setting regulations, in other words). If this is a school, and these are instructors, I would immediately address your concerns to the school principal and superintendent, and if that doesn't resolve the issue, go in front of the school board and make the matter public.

If this is a private organization, there surely is some sort of governing board/body that runs the league, and I would recommend addressing it to the head of the league itself.

Good luck -NO player should ever be treated like that, and they owe your son a sincere apology.

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Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 16 days ago.

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