On September 10, 2013, a Woodmore High School football player was seriously injured at practice after being forced to do a series of drills in the extreme heat.

The 16-year-old football player is currently being represented by Attorney Charles Boyk and a federal Civil Rights Action was filed on January 27, 2014 against Woodmore Local Schools and football coaches Britton Devier and Tood Bringman.

Woodmore Football Practice, September 10, 2013

The incident happened on September 10, 2013 when Head Coach Devier and Assistant Coach Bringman organized and implemented an attack against players in an effort to punish and allegedly haze members of the team for what was described as a lack of “hustle”.

September 10, 2013 was an extremely hot day and the practice was planned as a “non-contact” practice in which players would not wear their full uniforms, instead only helmets, shoulder pads, girdles with hip pads, and shorts.

When the players failed to complete their non-contact drills to the satisfaction of Devier and Bringman, they were then ordered to return to the locker room, change into full uniforms, and be back on the field within eight minutes. It was warned that a failure to return to the field in that time would result in serious consequences for the players.

There were 45 players on the team and only 6-10 returned to the field within the allotted eight minutes. Those who did not were then instructed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a single file line, referred to as “Old Woodmore”. The “New Woodmore” team (the players who made it back to the field on time) were then told to hit the “Old Woodmore” players as hard as they could. The”Old Woodmore” players would not be able to join the “New Woodmore” team until they took the hits. They were also forced to participate in the “Bull in the Ring” drill in which behaviors such as grabbing of face masks, pulling, pushing and hitting, and other acts were permitted against the player.

During these drills, the “Old Woodmore” players were told they could not make any effort to defend themselves.

Woodmore Football Player Suffers Brain Injury 

The client of the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices was an “Old Woodmore” player. He was hit with such force during this drill that he vomited, became disoriented, and collapsed. All of these reactions are tell-tale signs of a severe brain injury.

After this occurred there no ambulance was called and no parents were notified.

Our client was driven home by his older brother, unresponsive at the time. His parents immediately took him to St. Charles Hospital and he was then transferred via ambulance to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.

The drills that were conducted on September 10, 2013 did not comply with the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s guidelines regarding the reduction of head and neck injuries in football. These can be read on page 21 of the OHSAA Football Manual.

The drills that the players were doing that day put the players as a risk for severe brain injuries or worse conditions. Such injuries increase an individual’s chance of developing Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or severe depression, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC mission is to help those injured by the negligence of others. For more information about this case or questions regarding a similar case, call our office at 800.637.8170.

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