What a curveball.
A New Jersey high school baseball player sued his coach because he permanently injured his ankle sliding into third base — but a Somerset County jury called the coach safe on Monday, a report said.
Former Bound Brook High School ballplayer Jake Mesar, now 22, accused coach John Suk of negligence for ordering the costly slide during a 2012 ballgame, according to NJ.com.
Mesar, 15 at the time, was a freshman playing in his first junior varsity game when Suk signaled him to slide into third — but said the coach flubbed by having him slide when he was too close to the base.
Mesar said he heard a “pop” that ended his playing days just two innings into his high school baseball career. He ended up having three surgeries and is unable to play sports, he said.
He said doctors even discourage him from trying to jog because of the injury.
“I felt bad for my parents,” Mesar said at trial where he sought a seven-figure damages payout, NJ.com reported. “They would never be able to see me play again.”
But Suk, 31, cried foul and argued that the suit not only threatened his own coaching career but could have put a damper on high-school sports in general.
“The coaching profession would be under heavy scrutiny for everything that happens,” he told the news outlet. “Coaches are going to have to have insurance like doctors have for malpractice. School districts are not going to want to take the risk of having sports.”
Suk argued that the slide was a routine play that simply went bad, and a New Jersey jury agreed.
“I don’t think the coach had any intention of hurting the kid when he told him to slide,” juror Lauren Palladino said. “It just… happened. How was the coach reckless? That’s how you play the game.”
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