SANTA ANA, California — A lawsuit claims a player on a highly ranked Southern California Catholic high school football team suffered traumatic brain injury, gashes and a broken nose in a locker room hazing ritual in which players punch each other until one gives up.
The Orange County Superior Court lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the player’s family against Mater Dei High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, alleging a wide range of negligence, violation of the California penal code and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Southern California News Group reported.
Mater Dei said in a statement to SCNG: “An independent, thorough investigation was conducted. We are unable to comment further due to the involvement of minors.”
The incident occurred in February before a Mater Dei practice, according to the news group, which cited police reports, surgeon’s reports, numerous records, court filings and two videos of the altercation.
A relative newcomer to the team was matched against a bigger player in a ritual called “Bodies” in which they are supposed to punch each other’s torsos between the hips and shoulders.
But the newcomer was hit hard in the head and face, and there allegedly was significant delay in treatment and informing his parents, the news group reported.