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Woman injured by discus at school track meet wins lawsuit

OMAHA, Neb. — A woman who was struck in the head by a discus thrown during a 2014 state track meet in Nebraska has been awarded $350,000 in a settlement.

Bernice Gorecki, 83, alleged she was hit by a student-athlete’s discus while standing in the visitor area of the track meet at Omaha’s Burke High School, the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/2o9FmOR ) reported.

She and her husband sued the next year, alleging Omaha Public Schools and the Nebraska State Activities Association failed to keep spectators safe. The lawsuit argued there wasn’t a sufficient barrier between athletes and spectators, there was no verbal or physical warning that a discus had been thrown, and that the two entities didn’t provide a safe area to watch the competition.

Gorecki suffered “severe personal injuries, including a traumatic brain injury,” and has piling medical bills, according to her attorney, David Mullin. He declined comment on specifics of Gorecki’s injuries or her recovery.

A regulation discus for a boys’ competition, which Gorecki was attending, weighs 3.5 pounds (1.59 kilograms).

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District spokeswoman Monique Farmer said a spectator fence has since been pushed back farther. There are also additional signs posted that warn spectators of potential risks.

The signs read: “Attention: Stay alert! Flying objects!” and “Spectators entering the discus and shot put venues assume all risk of danger incidental to the event including but not limited to the danger of being injured by equipment as well as flying discuses and shot puts.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com


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