Genie Bouchard’s lawsuit against USTA

Genie Bouchard’s lawsuit against USTA appears to be heading to trial after two failed attempts at mediation, according to a report from ESPN.

At the 2015 US Open, Bouchard was in a late-night mixed doubles match. After the match, Bouchard, who was also into the fourth round in singles at the Grand Slam event, found the women’s locker room dark and unattended. She went in to use the ice bath, but according to the lawsuit, slipped on a substance on the floor and banged her head.

Genie Bouchard

She pulled out of the tournament two days later, showing symptoms of a concussion, and started just one more singles match in 2015 before she quit halfway through the second set, complaining of dizziness.

“We’ve had two attempts at mediation, and both have failed,” Bouchard’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, told ESPN. “The USTA has yet to accept responsibility and concede liability for what happened. I’m going into a new mode — ‘super hardball.'”

After Bouchard retained Morelli, her lawyer sent the USTA a pro forma letter requesting officials to retain all evidence pertaining to the incident, but now claims that the USTA destroyed significant security camera footage. Morelli is seeking a motion to sanction the USTA for “spoliation” of evidence, which could result in a fine for USTA and leaving the jury to give the benefit of the doubt to Bouchard in areas of missing evidence.

The USTA issued the following statement in response to Morelli’s claims:

“The USTA is confident that it preserved all documents, footage and other materials requested by Mr. Morelli at the time he advised us of Ms. Bouchard’s claim. Other than that, the USTA followed its standard retention policies, which make it impossible to accommodate an additional request that came more than 14 months after the original notice.”

Bouchard, currently ranked No. 56 in the WTA rankings, had a strong start to 2017, making the semifinals of Sydney before losing to eventual champion Johanna Konta and then making it to the third round at the Australian Open before losing to Coco Vandeweghe. However, she hasn’t won a match in a WTA event since then.
She is currently playing in this week’s minor league ITF event in Indian Harbor Beach, Florida.

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