$46 Million Dollar Award Causes Stir in Martial Arts Community

Jack Greener, a white belt Jiu Jitsu student, suffered a devasting, paralyzing injury while working with his black belt instructor. The injury was suffered in November, 2018 and the award was announced by the trial court on March 38, 2023. The California Superior Court handed down the decision after a long trial.

A major issue in the trial was whether the actions of the instructor involved negligence or gross negligence. Two key questions the jury was asked to answer were: “Was [Instructor’s] conduct a substantial factor in causing harm to Jack Greener?”   and “Did [Instructor] unreasonably increase the risk to Jack Greener over and above those inherent in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sparring?”

The jury answered yes to both questions. In addition, expert testimony said that the technique fell outside the normal bounds of sparring and was abnormally dangerous.

The award includes money for past and future pain and suffering; money for past and future medical expenses; and money for future lost earnings.

At this time the case has not yet been published, but you can learn more (including details about how the injury occurred) by going to the following link:


It is interesting to note that there was no mention of a liability waiver or release in any of the reports.

Photo Credit: Thanks to Mark Bonica.