The US Tennis Association was found “mostly liable” by a New York jury on Thursday for Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard’s locker room fall at the 2015 US Open, US media reported.
The jury in federal court in Brooklyn, where Bouchard sued the body that organises the US Open, needed less than an hour of deliberation to find USTA negligence was the main culprit in the fall that left Bouchard with a concussion and forced her to withdraw from the tournament.
She did not play a complete a match for the rest of the 2015 season.
The New York Times reported that the jury found the USTA 75 percent responsible, but assessed Bouchard’s contributory negligence at 25 percent.
“When you get 75 percent or better, you can’t ever complain about that,” Bouchard’s attorney, Benedict Morelli, said, according to the Times. “If somebody gives you three-quarters of the enchilada, you can’t complain.”
Bouchard is seeking damages for physical and emotional suffering in the lawsuit, as well as lost earnings on and off the court.
The damages phase of the trial is to begin on Friday.
Bouchard, 23, testified on Wednesday that she screamed in pain when she fell in a physiotherapy room at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, because her skin was burned by a cleaning spray applied to the floor.
Bouchard’s lawsuit claimed the USTA was at fault for applying the product, while the organisation countered that Bouchard, who had played a late mixed doubles match, should have known that the room was being cleaned at 11 PM.
Bouchard’s lawyers have claimed that the fall and injury hindered her career. Once ranked fifth in the world, she has fallen to 116th and has not replicated her early success, which included reaching the Wimbledon final in 2014.