(CN) – A violent bull escaped from its pen at a Nebraska rodeo and struck a beauty pageant contestant, throwing her into the air and injuring her, the woman claims in court.
Jessica Littlejohn and her father have accrued $28,910 in medical bills from her injuries, with more on the way, they say in their Wednesday complaint in Scotts Bluff County Court.
Littlejohn competed in the scholarship pageant held the August 2010 county fair. Contestants from 13 to 20 years old competed for the title of Scotts Bluff County Fair Queen and college scholarships.
As contestants were being introduced in the fairgrounds arena before the rodeo, several large bulls were loaded in the bullpens immediately behind the contestants.
“At this time, a bull in one of the bullpens behind the contestants broke free from the bullpen, confinement as it had not been adequately confined, and charged toward the contestants who were being introduced to the rodeo audience,” the complaint states.
“The charging bull struck the plaintiff, Jessica Littlejohn, from behind, throwing her into the air and onto the surface of the rodeo grounds.”
Littlejohn says she suffered brain and closed-head injuries, in addition to “serious personal, psychological and emotional injuries.”
Her injuries included a mild concussion, a sore back, sore legs and cuts on her arm, ABC affiliate KOTA reported.
Littlejohn claims the defendants failed to lock the bull confinement area and negligently told the contestants to stand “in a place of danger in front of the bullpen” to be introduced.
Named as defendants are rodeo operator Scotts Bluff County Agricultural Society, Scotts Bluff County Fair Scholarship Pageant, Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds, and bull supplier Juma Rodeo Stock.
Fairgrounds officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.
Littlejohn seeks actual and punitive damages for negligence.
She is represented by Samuel Segrist in Lincoln.
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