A federal judge has affirmed several claims made by a former member of Brigham Young University's varsity women's swim team and has denied the university's motion to have her suit thrown out.
Rachael Ann Mason filed suit against BYU, claiming she suffered a permanent spinal injury while strength training. Mason claims BYU's coaching staff directed her to "perform improper and unreasonably dangerous weight-lifting activities."
In two rulings issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart found that Mason had enough evidence to support her case to have her claims heard by a jury.
In a motion to have the suit dismissed, BYU claimed Mason could not prove BYU's coaching staff breached any standards of reasonable care or added any risk that wasn't inherent in the sport. BYU also claimed any ruling against it would have a negative impact on the way it trains its athletes.
Stewart denied the university's motion to have the suit thrown out.
"The court finds unpersuasive BYU's argument that to find any duty of care on the disputed facts viewed in light most favorable to Mason would change the law in a way that would 'chill' college athletics," Stewart wrote.
The case has been set for a jury trial in March.