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Football concussion suit trial set for 2013

 

Sequim Gazette staff


A lawsuit filed in 2010 against the Sequim School District and a local chiropractor by a former football player will go to trial next year.

 

Adrien Gault, who was a senior in high school when he collapsed into a coma on the sidelines of a football game on Oct. 20, 2006, is suing the school district for unspecified damages for allowing him to continue playing despite repeated concussions and symptoms of brain injury. The lawsuit also names the Sequim Chiropractic Clinic, its owner and operator Robert D. Bean and his wife.

 

In the complaint filed against the school district and Bean, Gault claims the district sent him to the chiropractor because he would provide the medical authorization for Gault, who was a star player on the football team, to resume playing. It also alleges the school district ignored the accepted standard protocol for making return-to-play decisions, including observation to see if concussion symptoms return. 

 

After visiting Bean, Gault continued to suffer post-concussion symptoms and the district still allowed him to suit up for football practices, though it withheld him from tackling, blocking and other contact to save it for actual football games, according to the lawsuit.

 

The district failed to alert Gault’s parents and request he be examined, the suit claims, “instead allowing a teenager to decide whether he should return to play.”

 

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including past and future mental and physical pain and suffering, loss of the ability to enjoy life, disability and disfigurement, past and future medical expenses, compensation for loss of earnings and impairment of earning capacity.

 

Attorneys for both sides told the court April 26 they have cooperated to collect depositions from witnesses. 

 

Tom Miller, attorney for Sequim School District, said his firm wouldn’t be able to go to trial during November 2012 as proposed because of other matters they are handling. He requested a trial date in February 2013.

 

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Ken Williams set the 16-20 day trial for Feb. 19, 2013.

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