ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The family of a high school lacrosse player who suffered a traumatic brain injury claims officials on the field didn't do enough to prevent the girl's injury.
The family of Kendalle Holley said she suffered a concussion after she was hit in the head by an opponent's stick, but wasn't evaluated early on, so she kept playing.
The family filed a negligence lawsuit against the Orange County School District and the State Athletic Association because they said the Holley's injury worsened as a result.
A minimum of one trainer is required for each campus wherever there's a sporting event, but the district said that's regardless of if there are multiple events going on.
Holley's attorney said there was a trainer at East River High School, but the player wasn't evaluated until after the game ended.
Holley said the hit left her with dizzy spells and sinking grades.
"I went from like a 4.0 student to failing my tests and not being able to comprehend and my (end of course exams)," Holley said.
Court records said none of the coaches, trainers or referees performed an evaluation immediately after she was hit, so Holley kept playing, which made her injury worse. Coaches and referees aren't trained to diagnose a concussion, but state rules state players shouldn't be allowed back on the field until they receive medical clearance.
The state requires girl's lacrosse players to wear a soft helmet, which is similar to a headband. The issue of helmets in girl's lacrosse in controversial because some believe hard helmets will make the game more aggressive.
Rules state a player showing signs of a concussion must be pulled from the game.
"I'm just used to like doing my work and being able to pass everything. Normally just acing all of my classwork. It's just, it's hard," Holley said.
The district said it employs about 30 athletic trainers.
The SAA and the player whose stick hit Holley could not be reached for comment.
Cox Media Group