Girl’s family sues former coach
Girl’s family sues former coach over assault Suit alleges damage from adrenaline shot By ESTEBAN PARRA, The News Journal
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008
A former Seaford Middle School softball coach is being sued for injecting a 14-year-old girl with a shot of adrenaline, according to documents filed in Superior Court.The girl’s family said 34-year-old Michael A. Wallace intended to harm the teen when he jumped on her and injected her with an EpiPen, a small device containing epinephrine to counteract allergic reactions, that belonged to the teen. She used it in case of bee stings.Seaford School District also is named in the suit for failing to “properly and thoroughly” verify Wallace’s background.”As a direct and proximate result of the defendants’ negligence [the girl] suffered personal injuries, both of a temporary and permanent nature,” the lawsuit states. This includes permanent nerve and muscle damage to her lower back, buttocks and leg.School district officials said they were not aware of the lawsuit and declined to comment. Wallace, whose contract was not renewed following the end of the 2005-2006 school session, could not be reached for comment Friday.According to Camden police, Wallace’s softball team was playing a game at Fred Fifer Middle School on May 10, 2006. During the game, police said Wallace reached into the girl’s purse, took her EpiPen and told her he was going to stick her with it. His threat was one he made on more than one occasion, according to court documents.After the game, police said the girl and another player were laying in the center of a team circle when Wallace approached them, drew the EpiPen, yelled “bee” and jumped on the girl.When the girl complained of pain in her buttocks, Wallace told her he had elbowed her, police said.The girl went to a nearby restroom and found a puncture wound on her buttocks.She was taken to Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children a few days later and learned she had nerve damage.Wallace was convicted March 8, 2007, of third-degree assault — a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 30 days in prison, a year probation and made to pay more than $17,000 in restitution.The civil suit, filed this week, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.