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University of California Sued for Lack of Safe Protocols for Cheerleaders

The University of California is being sued by a former cheerleader for not having “safe protocols” and fostering a culture of bullying towards them.

Melissa Martin, who is a former cheerleader at UC Berkeley, sued the University of California and USA Cheer, a competitive cheer governing body, in a California state court for failing to implement concussion protocols for collegiate cheerleaders.

Martin alleged university coaches of forcing her to perform the stunts leading to a serious concussion. Subsequently, she suffered three consecutive concussions, leading to potentially permanent brain injuries.

It forced Martin to take academic leave from school and lost tuition.

The lawsuit alleges the university of showing negligence towards the safety of cheerleaders and violated the state’s Student-Athlete Bill of Rights and unfair competition law.

“While there has been a lot of attention around concussion risks for young men in football, there has not been a corresponding level of concern about head injuries for young women participating in cheerleading programs,” said Martin’s attorney, Jennie Lee Anderson.

“The University of California should be leading the charge in concussion prevention, but instead, Ms. Martin’s coaches forced her to cheer when she was still recovering from a brain injury and the University did nothing about it.”

The suit is seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages and the implementation of reasonable concussion protocols for collegiate cheerleaders.

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