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Lawsuit: Toppling goal post gave child concussion

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A lawsuit filed this month alleges a 10-year-old boy suffered a concussion when a metal soccer goal post caught in a gust of wind hit him in the back of the head as he played during recess in 2016.

The child’s parents filed suit Nov. 7 in state District Court against Albuquerque Public Schools, alleging the district failed to anchor the goal at Griegos Elementary School, which, according to their attorney, is a simple task.

“There’s no good reason not to stake them down,” said attorney Jeffrey Trespel. “You take a sledgehammer, you take some U-shaped metal thingies and you stake them down. And if you need to move the goal, you pull them up with a crowbar.”

Trespel said similar incidents have happened at schools across the country. And the lawsuit points out that several years ago at Griegos Elementary School, another student was injured when a soccer goal fell on her.

“It is known in school district circles and recreational circles that soccer goals can get caught up in a windy day and topple,” he said.

The boy’s injuries “caused significant disruptions in his life that led to depression and anxiety that, in turn, caused a substantial downturn in his scholastic performance,” according to the lawsuit.

Now a middle school student, the boy has become the target of bullies because his injuries left him unable to defend himself. The lawsuit further alleges the district has failed to protect him from bullying.

A spokeswoman for APS said the district cannot comment on pending litigation.

The family is seeking a judgment against APS for general and special damages, litigation expenses and medical bills.