In A Case Related To Cheerleaders Being Ordered To Fist-Fight By Their Coach, Los Angeles Superior Court Allows The Case To Proceed To Trial, And Allows The Cheerleader To Assert A Claim That Her Right To Be Peaceable And Secure On Campus Was Violated
Los Angeles Superior Court Holds That Sufficient Questions Of Material Fact Exist For Matter To Proceed To Trial On All Causes Of Action, Including Negligence And A Civil Rights Violation
March 11, 2015, In Humes v. Palisades Charter High School, Case No. BC508906, the Plaintiff alleges that her cheerleading coach ordered her and another cheerleader to engage in a fist-fight, to “fight music”, in front of her fellow cheerleaders. This was to resolve a dispute about a boy that students had been following on “Twitter.” The case was filed in 2013 and is approaching trial.
The defendant – Palisades Charter High School – moved for summary judgment and dismissal of the case arguing that (a) the cheerleaders wanted to fight; (b) that the school couldn’t have foreseen that the cheerleading coach would order the cheerleaders to fight; and (c) that the civil rights claim should be dismissed (arguing that section 52.1, commonly called the “Bane Act”, required racial bias).
On Tuesday, March 10, the Court denied the motion in its entirety, stating “Specifically, both Principal Pamela McGee and Assistant Principal Dean Russel Howard were allegedly made aware of complaints regarding [the coach’s] alleged bullying of students, lack of proper supervision of students, emotional immaturity, and her propensity to become too friendly with her cheer squad members. Thus, these facts relate directly to [the coach’s] alleged incompetence to be a cheer coach and to supervise students. The alleged injury suffered by plaintiff stemmed directly from [the coach’s] alleged improper supervision of students by ordering two students to engage in a violent fistfight during cheer practice.”
Trial is set to begin on July 7.
A copy of the Court’s Order is available upon request.
Plaintiff is represented by Feldman & Wallach and the Law Office of Jovan Blacknell.
KTLA covered the matter when it unfolded in 2013: