Ex-Wrestler Says Coaches Ignored Concussions

     NORFOLK, Va. (CN) — A former student-athlete claims in court that Old Dominion University wrestling coaches did not provide him medical treatment after three separate concussions, and says he dropped out because of his injuries.
     Jordan Marshall, former student and wrestler at the university, sued Old Dominion Athletic Foundation and Old Dominion Athletic Conference, along with coaches Steve Martin, Mike Dixon, Alex Dolly and Kyle Hutter, in Norfolk, Va., Circuit Court on May 2.
     He alleges he was instructed not to tell anyone of concussion injuries and symptoms.
     The Bradford, Ohio, native began attending Old Dominion on an athletic scholarship for wrestling in the 2013-2014 school year, according to his lawsuit.
     Marshall says he first sustained a concussion on May 3, 2014, during a practice wrestling match with a teammate and lost consciousness.
     Hutter allegedly encouraged Marshall continue wrestling, which he did at the direction and approval of the coach.
     The next day, Marshall developed severe headaches and informed the coaches of symptoms that he was suffering, which also included confusion and trouble concentrating, according to his lawsuit.
     The coaches allegedly advised Marshall to work with his professors and not communicate to them the fact that he was suffering from concussion symptoms.
     According to the lawsuit, the coaches required Marshall to attend practice, but not engage in contact, until late May 2014, when he was required by the coaches to participate in contact wrestling in anticipation of competing for an upcoming match in Sandusky, Ohio.
     Marshall says he did not perform well in practice due to his concussion symptoms, and the coaches dropped him from the meet registration
     Rather than referring Marshall to a medical professional, the coaches instead “requested, encouraged and directed” him not to complain of his injury or seek medical attention, and instructed him not to reveal the fact that he had sustained the initial concussion, Marshall’s lawsuit alleges.
     On June 6 or 7, 2014, the coaches allegedly encouraged Marshall to resume his participation in the wrestling practice despite still suffering from concussion symptoms.
     Marshall practiced wrestling with Dolly on June 12, and head-to-head contact was made, causing Marshall to suffer another concussion and lost consciousness again, he claims.
     Marshall says he immediately began suffering from concussion symptoms, headaches, amnesia, and the same symptoms he had previously reported to the coaches.
     The coaches again failed to refer Marshall to the trainer for evaluation or to seek any other medical evaluation or treatment, according to the lawsuit. He alleges he was asked to continue contact practice after several days.
     When Marshall told Dolly he was still having concussion symptoms, including difficulty remembering wrestling techniques, the coach again directed Marshall to wrestle with him and slammed Marshall to the ground, causing a third concussion and another loss of consciousness, according to Marshall’s lawsuit.
     Once again, the coaches allegedly failed to refer Marshall to the trainer or any medical assistance for evaluation and treatment, and instead scheduled Marshall to work as a counselor at a wrestling camp.
     During the wrestling camp, Marshall began to convulse, vomit and spit up blood midway through the camp, the lawsuit states.
     For the first time since Marshall’s initial concussion, coaches referred him to the trainer, who made arrangements to have an evaluation for his concussions, Marshall claims.
     After an initial neuropsychologist evaluation, Marshall made his own arrangements for medical treatment and ultimately received proper diagnoses and treatment at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, his lawsuit says.
     However, Marshall says the delayed treatment was not enough to fix the damage that had been done.
     “Plaintiff was caused to sustain serious and permanent injury in the form of traumatic brain injury, and concussion and brain injury syndrome and symptoms, and other physical and psychological injuries,” the 5-page complaint states.
     Marshall says he was forced to drop out of school “due to his cognitive losses and other symptoms caused by the defendants.” He seeks $4 million in damages and is represented by Edward Halloran in Virginia Beach, Va.
     Old Dominion Senior Associate Athletic Director Debbie White declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing university policy.
     Halloran did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

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