A mother has filed a personal injury suit against West Virginia’s Boone County Board of Education, alleging that her seventh-grade daughter sustained fractures to her nose and eye socket when she was struck in the face by a bat during softball practice in the Wharton Grade School gym.


Julie Sullivan, on behalf of her daughter, Mikaela Lynn Nottingham Sullivan, cites negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress on the part of the school board. Her complaint identifies Patty Joy Adkins as the coach of the Van Junior/Senior High team during a practice in April 2009.


Sullivan said that Adkins requested that her daughter play at the catcher position, but she was not provided with the proper safety equipment, including a face mask. She typically played in the outfield.


According to the complaint, Adkins was hitting softballs to teammates when she “hit Mikaela Lynn Nottingham Sullivan directly in the face with the metal baseball bat.”


The complaint said that Adkins never made an attempt to obtain medical treatment for the girl, despite a profuse nose bleed and swelling. She was taken to the hospital nearly five hours later by a family friend. There she received the diagnosis of a fractured nose and right eye socket, according to Sullivan.


Sullivan says that her daughter missed two weeks of school and was unable to participate in softball for the remainder of the year. She also claims lost wages while attending to her then 13-year-old daughter.


Sullivan has requested a trial by jury and seeks awards for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost ability for the enjoyment of life, emotional distress and mental anguish, annoyance and inconvenience, scarring and disfigurement, litigation costs, lost wages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and other relief to which she and her daughter are entitled.

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