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Thread: Cheerleader doesn't have to pay insurers

  1. #1

    Cheerleader doesn't have to pay insurers

    Cheerleader doesn't have to pay insurers
    BY KEVIN O'HANLON / The Associated Press

    A former University of Nebraska cheerleader paralyzed in an accident won a court fight Monday against insurance companies that wanted to stop paying her medical expenses.

    Tracy Jensen was paralyzed in 1996 after she suffered a broken neck practicing a handspring. Her lawsuit against the university resulted in a $2.1 million settlement in 2001.

    At the time of the accident, Jensen was covered for injury under three insurance policies.

    The university, through the NCAA, buys insurance on behalf of student athletes. NU had two such policies for Jensen with TIG Insurance Co. and North American Specialty Insurance. Co.

    Jensen's parents also had a policy for her through Celtic Insurance Co.
    North American has paid some $400,000 in medical and other expenses for Jensen, according to court records.

    But North American wanted Jensen to repay the money, saying the settlement with the university should cover those expenses.

    North American also contended the companies should not be obligated to continue to pay Jensen's future medical expenses, unless she runs out of money from the settlement.

    Celtic's policy expired when Jensen turned 25, but the company wanted her to repay the $95,000 in benefits it paid after she was injured.

    Lancaster County District Judge Karen Flowers on Monday rejected the insurance companies' arguments.

    Jensen's lawyers, Maren Lynn Chaloupka and Robert Chaloupka of Scottsbluff, hailed the ruling.

    ``Insurance companies are programmed to not think twice about the consequences of their never-ending quest to serve their bottom line,'' Maren Chaloupka said. ``Here, the consequences would have been devastating to a 26-year-old quadriplegic young lady with no funds.

    "They should be ashamed of themselves,'' she said.

    North American lawyer Robert Grimit could not be reached for comment.

    Jensen has about 20 percent use of her arms and 35 percent use of her legs.
    She lives with her brother in Lincoln, where she receives in-home nursing care and goes several times weekly to physical therapy.

    Jensen is expected to lose what little lower body movement she has within a few years and will be back in a wheelchair.

    The university has since banned its cheerleaders from doing flips, pyramids, handsprings or other stunts.

    School officials said at the time of the ban that the cheerleading squad reported about 10 percent more injuries than other women's sports at the university. NU also has male cheerleaders.

  2. #2
    why is she expected to lose 'what little lower body movement' she has?

  3. #3
    Again.... this sounds like another "No my fault" kind of suit again.
    Granted without specific details, I can only assume facts.

    But let me see.... Flipping your body in the air can cause injury. Hmmm.. now being a cheerleader one doesn't have a choice to flip oneself in the air... hence the University is responsible.

    Sorry.... I'm just too ignorant.

  4. #4
    Cappy, understood but insurance obviously is designed exactly for that purpose.

    In case of this accident I don't think the cheerleader is looking for anything extraordinary.

    Onward and Upward!

  5. #5
    yeah i agree kimmyface...that sounds weird.

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