Plancher v. UCF Athletics Ass’n, Inc.Annotate this Case
After Ereck Plancher, a University of Central Florida (UCF) football player, collapsed and died during football practice conditioning drills, Ereck’s parents (the Planchers) filed a negligence action against UCF and UCF Athletic’s Association, Inc. (UCFAA). A jury found UCFAA, the statutorily authorized direct-support organization responsible for administering UCF’s athletics department, liable and awarded the Planchers $10 million in damages. The Court of Appeal reversed, concluding that UCFAA was entitled to limited sovereign immunity. The Planchers appealed, arguing that UCF did not have sufficient control over UCFAA’s day-to-day operations to entitle UCFAA to limited sovereign immunity. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that UCFAA was entitled to limited sovereign immunity under Fla. Stat. 768.28 because it primarily acts as an instrumentality of the state. Remanded for entry of a judgment corresponding to the jury’s award of damages but limiting UCFAA’s liability to $200,000.