In the suit, which was filed Wednesday in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Bouchard said that the fall had been induced by “a slippery, foreign and dangerous substance on the floor” that had been caused by the tournament and that the tournament had failed to give her any warning about the condition.
Bouchard’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said the substance was a cleaning agent that was intended to be left on the floor overnight when the room would no longer be used. Bouchard entered the room after a late finish to a mixed doubles match and a subsequent news conference.
Continue reading the main story
“If they were going to do that, they should have closed the door and locked it off,” Morelli said. “And they didn’t do that.”
Chris Widmaier, the U.S.T.A.’s managing director of corporate communications, said the organization’s policy was not to comment on active litigation.
Bouchard, a 21-year-old Canadian, was a breakout star in 2014, reaching the final of Wimbledon and the semifinals of the Australian Open and the French Open. She was in the midst of an apparent resurgence at the U.S. Open after a disappointing season, but withdrew from the tournament before her fourth-round match because of a concussion and other symptoms related to the fall.
Bouchard is still troubled by the injury. She withdrew from a tournament two weeks ago in Wuhan, China, where she had reached the final last year, and retired midway through her first-round match last week in Beijing, citing dizziness. She has also withdrawn from events in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
The lawsuit notes that Bouchard’s ranking, which peaked at No. 5 last year, has continued to drop. She is No. 39 in the world but was No. 25 at the time of the accident.
Bouchard is asking for a jury trial and is seeking unspecified damages. “We could be talking about millions and millions,” Morelli said, although with Bouchard still experiencing symptoms, “we don’t know the extent yet.”