CLEARWATER — A Pinellas County woman is suing a softball tournament organizer, alleging negligence led to injuries to the plaintiff.

Desiree Douglas filed a complaint Jan. 26 in Pinellas Circuit Court against Freedom Sports Association Inc., alleging failure to provide a safe environment for its participants.

According to the complaint, on April 2, 2016, Douglas was participating in a softball tournament operated by the defendant at Southwest Sports Complex in Lakeland, Florida. The suit says despite the coming of strong thunderstorms, play continued. Douglas, while rounding third base, slipped, then hear a loud pop as her knee buckled and she fell to the ground in pain.

The suit says Douglas sustained serious bodily injuries and resulting pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of earnings. The lawsuit states this was the result of the negligence of a Freedom Sports employee in requiring continuation of the game, despite Douglas' team expressing concerns about the field conditions due to inclement weather. 

The plaintiff alleges Freedom Sports failed to have sufficiently trained officials with adequate knowledge of standards with regard to field safety conditions, failed to ensure safe playing conditions and jeopardized the safety of the athletes participating in the tournament.

Douglas seeks trial by jury, damages in excess of $15,000, exclusive of interest and costs. She is represented by attorneys Wesley T. Straw and Matthew D. Emerson of Emerson Straw PL in St. Petersburg.

Pinellas Circuit Court case number 18-CA-554

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