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Football injuries produce lawsuits

The West Bonner County School District has been hit with a pair of lawsuits over injuries suffered by junior varsity football players at Priest River.

The civil lawsuits were filed in 1st District Court in Sandpoint, the Bonner County Daily Bee reported.

One case alleges junior varsity coach Jake Stark tossed a full plastic water bottle at a player’s face during a halftime pep talk, causing a laceration. The boy received first aid for the cut, but it was later determined he also suffered a concussion, the suit states.

“They sent him out and played him in the second half,” said Sandpoint attorney Brent Fetherston.

Stark, a high school teacher in Priest River, did not immediately return a phone message left Monday at the high school.

The other complaint alleges a player suffered permanent vision damage after being struck in the eye by a football during practice. The lawsuit claims the coaching staff discouraged the player from wearing his helmet while running pass routes. The player underwent surgery for a detached retina three days after the injury.

The boy lost the center field of vision in his left eye, but still has some peripheral vision, Fetherston said.

West Bonner County School District Superintendent Mike McGuire told the AP that officials have not yet been served with the lawsuit.

The lawsuits seek damages of more than $10,000.


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