Brown v. USA TaekwondoAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit against their taekwondo coach, Marc Gitelman, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Taekwondo (USAT), and others arising from Gitelman's sexual abuse of plaintiffs when they were minors.
The Court of Appeal held that USAT had a duty to implement and enforce policies and procedures to protect youth athletes from foreseeable sexual abuse by their coaches. Because USAT demurred on the direct negligence cause of action based solely on the lack of a duty of care, the court reversed the trial court's dismissal of this cause of action against USAT. However, USOC did not owe a duty to plaintiffs because it did not have a special relationship with Gitelman or plaintiffs. The court reasoned that, although USOC had the ability to control USAT, including requiring it to adopt policies to protect youth athletes, it did not have direct control over the conduct of coaches. Plaintiffs' remaining claims failed. The court affirmed the judgment dismissing USOC and reversed the judgment of dismissal as to USAT, remanding for further proceedings.