A man who suffered a severe brain injury after being struck with a ball during halftime festivities of a San Diego State football game has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego and the California State University system.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the lawsuit claims that Gordon Summer was hit by a fast-moving football while he was escorting SDSU’s homecoming king and queen around the field at halftime of an October 2017 contest between the Aztecs and Fresno State. Summer had voluntarily offered his 1973 Ford Mustang, and was walking in front of the car as his son drove the homecoming royalty.

Summer’s injuries included a brain injury, brain bleed, facial fractures, a subacute hematoma and a subarachnoid hemorrhage, according to the suit. The injuries were severe enough to require brain surgery, and for Summer to have titanium plates and screws placed in his head.

The suit alleges that the injuries have limited Summer’s ability to work, and caused him “permanent cognitive injuries.”

The legal argument the suit makes is that the two universities were negligent in hiring athletics personnel that allowed the injuries to occur. The suit says that university personnel had not been properly trained to recognize dangers to the public, failed to supervise halftime activities, and should have informed teams not to throw or kick when non-players were on the field.

Additionally, the suit criticizes the use of netting to catch fast-moving balls, and says they may have helped to create a false sense of security.

 

Jason Scott is Online Managing Editor of Athletic Business.