A California jury today ruled in favor of USA Swimming in a lawsuit that alleged sexual abuse by a coach of a local swim club.
STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA, USA, November 16, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — A California jury today ruled in favor of USA Swimming in a lawsuit brought by a swimmer who had alleged sexual abuse by a coach of a local Stockton swim club.
The jury of 8 women and 4 men deliberated less than 3 hours before issuing a verdict finding that USA Swimming did not fall below the standard of care, and was not responsible for the conduct of a coach employed by the former Stockton Swim Club.
USA Swimming’s attorney, William Kronenberg, of the Oakland based civil litigation law firm, Kronenberg Law, PC, said the jury’s decision was an important vindication of the organization’s athlete protection program.
“USA Swimming has worked very hard to develop and institute a comprehensive program to protect its swimmers,” said Kronenberg, and this case is the first time a jury was asked to determine whether it met the standard of care for a youth serving organization. The speedy affirmation by the Stockton jury should be welcome news to the thousands of swimmers at the more than 3,200 member clubs throughout the U.S.
According to Kronenberg, “The jury was presented with the entire athlete protection program, from the Code of Conduct, mandatory screening and training of coaches, to educational models for parents and swimmers along with expert testimony which found it met or exceeded the standards necessary for a safe environment.” While no youth serving organization can ever be 100% safe, the jury conclusively found that USA’s program was properly designed, implemented and staffed.
The trial has made headlines following the release of multiple news stories by the swimmer’s attorney, including releasing the deposition transcript of USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey, who was hired in July 2017. The swimmer’s attorney has publicly commented on the CEO’s lack of background or training in the prevention of sexual abuse, both prior to and even after the jury rejected those claims.
Kronenberg said that the jury saw right through the argument that a CEO of a national organization should have specialized knowledge about abuse prevention.
“Preventing sexual abuse is a specialized field that requires both extensive education, training and experience, much like that received by members of Child Protective Services, and USA Swimming has a department staffed with equally well trained personnel. Mr. Hinchey does not have that background or training, he is the CEO, not the head of that department,” Kronenberg said.
According to Kronenberg, “The criticism of Mr. Hinchey by opposing counsel is unfair and misguided, but some attorneys prefer trying a case in the media, instead of listening to the message sent by the jury with its verdict.”
Source: EIN Presswire