Injured High School Gymnast Files Lawsuit

Injured High School Gymnast Files Lawsuit

Former Sioux Falls high school student, Andrea Wilson, filed a lawsuit alleging negligence on behalf of her school, two coaches, and a gymnastic training center.  According to the claim, this negligence contributed to her fall during practice which resulted in spinal cord injury and paralysis.  According to the personal injury lawsuit, Wilson is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial. 

On January 22, 2003, Wilson was attempting a “technical and advanced” gymnastics maneuver, called the Tkatchev or reverse hecht, when she fell from the uneven bars and hit the ground on her back.  The lawsuit claims that she was fatigued and in danger of injury after at least 30 failed attempts at this maneuver. 

The personal injury lawsuit alleges that coaches Shawn and Lana Bauer were negligent in their practice supervision, their coaching, and the use of safety apparatuses.  Wilson is also seeking damages from Sioux Falls O’Gorman High School for failing to properly train the coaches and checking their background experience.  The Gymnastics Academy is being sued because they knew the uneven bars were not appropriate for Wilson’s height and knew the coaches were not qualified to supervise many maneuvers performed by Wilson and other gymnasts. 

The defendant’s attorney says they will be aggressively defending this lawsuit.  “My clients regret that there was ever an accident, but my investigation so far doesn’t reveal that the coached or anyone else did anything wrong,” says attorney Jim McMahon. 

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