A sports equipment company has denied any responsibility for its soccer goal causing the death of a youth soccer player due to the personal injuries he sustained in 2007.

According to court documents, the other defendants named in a $10 million lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Prince William County, Virginia for the parents of the child also claim no responsibility.

On May 7, 2007, 10-year-old Hayden Ellias died from blunt force trauma to his head and neck while playing at Frederick County, Virginia’s Millbrook High School as a member of Winchester United, a travel boys’ team, according to the suit.

According to the suit, while his team was scrimmaging with another team at the school, the moveable soccer goal, manufactured by Porter Athletic Equipment Co., “tipped over” on top of Ellias, crushing him and resulting in his death.

The wrongful death and product liability suit alleges that no safety warnings or an anchor system to hold it down came with the goal. The suit also claims the company failed to recall the product after earlier incidents of goals falling.

The designers of Millbrook High School which selected the goal, Phil Pappas and the firm Oliver, Webb, Pappas, & Rhudy Inc. were also named as defendants in the suit in addition to the contractor on the Millbrook project, Howard Shockey & Sons. A nonsuit involving Pappas was ordered by a judge last month and attorneys for both sides agreed to dismiss a breach of contract count against OWPR.

The suit also alleges negligence on the part of several soccer organizations: Blue Ridge Soccer Association Inc., Old Dominion Soccer League Inc., Virginia Youth Soccer Association Inc., the United States Youth Soccer Association Inc. and the United States Soccer Federation Inc.
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