Personal injury accidents can arise from a number of facts and circumstances, including car accidents and slip and falls. No matter the cause, the consequences can be devastating and tragic. Personal injury victims often suffer from emotional trauma and financial burdens on top of the excruciating physical pain and suffering. Fortunately, Massachusetts personal injury law aims to compensate victims for these injuries by getting them the money they rightfully deserve.
South Haven, Michigan’s L.C. Mohr High School hosted an event on October 25, 2013 to congratulate the senior class for scoring higher on the ACT than the previous senior class. The celebratory event included a football throwing station and a sumo-wrestling station supervised by Army recruiters. In under an hour, the celebratory event turned tragic, as one student was rushed to a local hospital with a head and neck injury.
Seniors Shelby Frederick and Emma Bryzinski decided to try the sumo-wrestling station. They put on the large sumo-style suits and prepared to “wrestle” as their classmates gathered around to watch. Protective headgear came with the suits, but the Army recruiters in charge declined to use the headgear because it was “worn.” The recruiters allegedly failed to provide any instructions or warnings about how to perform the sumo-wrestling activity.
As Frederick waited for her friend to put on her suit, another classmate ran into Frederick causing her to fall off the mat. Fully suited up at the time, Frederick could not catch herself. She fell off the mat, and struck her head on the hardwood gym floor. She lost consciousness for about a minute. When she awoke, she was rushed to the South Haven Health System. There, she complained of a headache and neck pain. Doctors determined that she had suffered a skull fracture and a subdural hemorrhage.
Although Frederick was treated for her injuries, her symptoms persist even today. According to Michigan Live, Frederick has been diagnosed with anosmia, a neurological condition that results in a loss of smell and taste. As a result of her injury, Frederick has filed a lawsuit against the United States, arguing that the U.S. Army recruiters were negligent. According to her lawsuit, she will need a “smell buddy” and “food taster” for the rest of her life because of the dangers associated with loss of taste and smell. In addition, Frederick was prevented from participating in her senior year basketball season. As a college recruit, this missed opportunity has had the effect of limiting her college career prospects. She is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, as well as costs and attorney’s fees.