Parent of Softball Player Sues School

April 21, 2016

The mother of a former seventh-grade softball player has sued her daughter’s school, and the school’s director of athletics, over her daughter’s treatment. The mother claims her daughter was overworked and made to pitch while feeling discomfort, leading to an injury.

As reported by centraljersey.com, Jane Woods sued the Hun School of Princeton, Athletic Director William Quirk Jr., and his assistant Kathryn Quirk on behalf of her daughter, Calin Christianson. Woods claims that her daughter pitched two entire games on April 11 and 13, 2012, then during a game on April 17, she felt discomfort in her back. She was checked out by an athletic trainer for muscle knots, sent back to the field, and told to pitch.

“After one of the early innings, Cailin was in the dugout when defendant William Quirk directed (her) to follow him behind a shed near home plate,” the suit alleged. The mother claimed that he instructed her daughter to lie down on her side while he was on top of her “with all of his weight manipulating (her) body.”

Later, according to the suit, Quirk performed what the suit called a “bear hug squeeze,” lifting her off the ground. At that point, according to the suit, Christianson “heard a cracking/popping sound in her back and was in excruciating pain.” The suit called the squeeze an “assault and battery.”

Christianson was allegedly forced to finish the inning, before removing herself from the game.

“Rather than properly rest Cailin’s arm and body and track her pitch counts, defendants took a ‘win at all costs’ approach and required Cailin to pitch all games and practices,” the suit said. She overused “her body in an unhealthy and dangerous manner at defendant’s direction due to the repetitive motions required to pitch.”

The school’s headmaster, Jonathon Brougham, released the following statement:

“Hun School student athletes receive the best possible care both on and off the field by certified athletic trainers and staff,” his statement read. “While we do our best to prevent and avoid injuries, there is always the possibility of physical discomfort or injury during athletic play. Student athletes who present persistent or serious injuries are encouraged to seek medical care.”

 

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