Law & Policy: Civil Actions
Gym Mat Death Probe Shifts to Witness Tampering
by Ray Glier, @RayGlier, Special for USA TODAY August 2015
Two and a half years ago, Brian Bell, a former football star at Lowndes High School in Valdosta Ga., first was investigated in the death of a classmate. Last month, federal authorities raided several college dorm rooms and homes, including those of Bell and his parents, as the probe took a turn into witness tampering and obstruction. In January 2013, Kendrick Johnson, a 17-year-old black student, was found dead in a rolled-up wrestling mat at Lowndes High. The incident sparked racial strife in the community and gained national attention when Florida State withdrew a football scholarship offer to Bell, who is white.
Gymnastics Coach Faces Child Porn, Gun Charges
by Lulu Ramadan Palm Beach Post Staff Writer August 2015
A Jupiter gymnastics coach and mentor to children was arrested Friday morning on seven charges of possession of child pornography, among other charges, according to Broward Sheriff's Office.
NFLPA Sues League, Hopes to Reverse Brady Ruling
by Tom Pelissero, USA TODAY Sports July 2015
Attorney Jeffrey Kessler has battled the NFL and its owners for years in court on behalf of the league's players. So it was unusual he found himself agreeing Wednesday morning with a regular adversary: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Howard's Rock Vandal Found Guilty of Lesser Charge
by Mike Ellis firstname.lastname@example.org 864-260-1277 July 2015
Jurors in the trial of Micah Rogers returned a split verdict, finding that he damaged Howard’s Rock or its case but did not take anything of significant value.
Feds Seize Computers, Phones in Gym Mat Death Probe
by Christian Boone; Staff July 2015
Federal agents Tuesday seized computers and cell phones belonging to an FBI agent, his wife and their two sons as part of an ongoing investigation into the 2013 death of a Valdosta teen whose body was discovered in a rolled-up gym mat.
Judge Orders Towson to Allow Player to Return to Team
by Laura Godlewski July 2015
It was a hot summer day in August of 2013 when Towson University offensive lineman Gavin Class collapsed on the field during football practice. His body temperature had risen to 108 degrees, causing his heart to stop and his liver to fail.
Vandalism in 2013 Prompted Clemson Security Upgrades
by Mike Ellis, Anderson Independent-Mail (South Carolina) July 2015
The vandal or vandals who took away a piece of Howard’s Rock from Clemson University in 2013 may have been trying to remove the whole rock, the football facilities director testified Tuesday. Gary Wade, an assistant athletic director at Clemson, gave his testimony during the trial of Micah Rogers in the Pickens County Courthouse, part of the 13th Judicial Circuit.
Family Suing YMCA Over Son's Climbing Wall Injury
by Emily Attwood July 2015
Parents of a boy injured earlier this year after falling off a climbing wall at the Weston (Fla.) YMCA are suing the organization, alleging that the injury was due to an employee’s failure to secure his harness, as well as the absence of safety mats.
Devin Pabian was celebrating his 11th birthday with a party at the YMCA and rock climbing with a group of friends. He had been harnessed in by a worker and scaled the 30-foot-tall wall. As he attempted to rappel down, he instead fell.
The lawsuit alleges the fall was caused by an improperly secured harness or rope, and that the staff member in charge of monitoring the climbers had left the area.
Pabian suffered fractures to his wrist, ankle and spine and had to be airlifted to a hospital for surgery.
"The miracle is he survived such a fall, the tragedy is it was preventable had the facility taken the necessary and reasonable safeguards to protect such young members and visitors they entice to such an attraction," says the family’s attorney, Jay Cohen.
The Pabian family is seeking more than $15,000 in damages. A YMCA spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The AB Extra: July 17
by Laura Godlewski July 2015
In this week's AB Extra, you'll find news about Nike's response to a ban by CrossFit, a rebranding of a Canadian town to welcome a new hockey arena and the United States' top swimming city.
YMCA Janitor Charged with Locker Room Recording
by Doug T. Graham, Chicago Daily Herald July 2015
A 34-year-old custodian has been charged with using his cellphone to record video of two underage girls changing in the women's locker room at Buehler YMCA on Sunday, Palatine police say.