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Misericordia Faculty and Student Publish Article in Penn State Law Review Online

Misericordia Faculty and Student Publish Article in Penn State Law Review Online

Joshua D. Winneker, J.D., Associate Professor of Business at Misericordia University, and current student Brooke Chronister, were recently published in Penn State Law Review Online for their research paper, “Extending the Civil Liability Provision in the Texas Heartbeat Act to Create Fan Lawsuits Against Professional Athletes.”

Left, Joshua Winneker, J.D. and Right, Brooke Chronister, student

The paper discusses the procedural structure of the Texas Heartbeat Act (THA) and applies it to another area of society, in this case, professional sports.

The THA allows third-parties, unrelated to an abortion, to sue someone who assisted in or performed the abortion. The paper applies this novel civil liability provision to the world of professional sports by creating a law that would allow fans to sue players for monetary damages when the players are arrested for a violent crime or are punished by their league for a violent crime.

This new proposed law is trying to address the frequent breach of public trust that athletes commit. The players profit off the adoration of fans across the country and then sometimes conduct themselves in a manner that does not fit their role model status. Allowing fans to seek monetary damages when this public trust is breached would hopefully serve as a deterrent for future violent behaviors.

Winneker explains why they chose to write on this topic. “We discussed in my Sport Law class the need for new laws to be applied in the sporting industry. One problem that we thought needed to be solved was creating a way to get professional athletes to stop committing violent crimes.  Brooke thought that using the recently passed Heartbeat Act’s civil liability provision would be a way to create a deterrent if the athletes knew they could be sued civilly by fans if they were arrested or punished for committing a violent crime. Working with Brooke for me was a way to help prepare her for law school and writing papers in law school.”

Beyond just being published as a student, Chronister discusses how she was motivated by Winneker. “Writing the paper mainly throughout the summer allowed us a lot of time to think, rethink, and think more about all the tiny details. As soon as I thought we had it figured out, Professor Winneker would think of a new question we needed to answer. He pushed my research and writing abilities more than I’ve been pushed before, something I am grateful for. Because of this paper, I’ll come out of undergrad with quality research experience and a published paper to prove it. I hope this helps me ‘hit the ground running’ in Law school.”

For more information about their research published in Penn State Law Review Online, Click Here, and for additional information about the business department at Misericordia University, please visit our website.