DISTRICT SUED BY PLAYER
By Glenn Rolfe
The Leader & State Register
March 26, 2008
Wilmington—The Seaford School District and Michael A. Wallace, a former Seaford Middle School coach convicted of third-degree assault last March, are defendants named in a lawsuit that stems from a May 2006 incident in which Mr. Wallace allegedly struck a Seaford Middle School softball team member with her medicinal “Epi-Pen”.
The suit, filed March 13, 2008 in Superior Court in Wilmington on behalf of Christine L. Jones and her daughter of Bridgeville, seeks compensatory, special and punitive damages, said Eric M. Doroshow, one of the attorneys from the Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz & Bhaya law firm representing the plaintiffs.
The suit also seeks costs for this action with a request for a jury trial, Mr. Doroshow said.
Contacted last week, Mr. Wallace declined to comment on the lawsuit.
On March 8, 2007, a Kent County Superior Court jury found Mr. Wallace, then 33, guilty of third-degree assault. Mr. Wallace was arrested by Camden police in June 2006 following an investigation initiated by the Seaford School District’s state police School Resource Officer of the incident, which occurred May 10, 2006, in Camden during a softball game between Seaford Middle School and Fred Fifer Middle School court records state.
According to court documents, the girl suffered from allergic reactions to bee stings and brought her medicinal pen with medication to each game in the event it was needed. The lawsuit alleges Mr. Wallace repeatedly took the medicinal pen during games and “uttered comments” to the plaintiff indicating “he could or would use the pen on her without consent or the need for medicine contained in the pen”.
During a team meeting at the end of the game on May 10, 2006, Mr. Wallace “caused physical contact to occur between the plaintiff and the medicinal pen in his possession, which was to be used by the plaintiff if she was stung by a bee”, the lawsuit claims.
The student had not been stung by a bee, the lawsuit claims.
The girl was treated for swelling and pain at A.I. duPont Hospital in Wilmington where she was diagnosed with nerve damage, court documents state.
“She suffered permanent damages as alleged in the complaint”, said Mr. Doroshow.
The suit claims the student suffered personal injuries both temporary and permanent, including permanent muscle and nerve damage to his lower back, buttocks and leg, and has experienced and is likely to continue experience physical pain, suffering and discomfort and emotional pain, anxiety and nervousness.
The suit against the Seaford School District alleges direct liability and negligence in that the district did not use reasonable care in selecting, hiring, training or supervising and employee—Michael A. Wallace.
Seaford School District spokeswoman Bonnie Johnson said last Thursday the district had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit. “Obviously, we do not know what it entails at this time,” Mrs. Johnson said.