United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
DAPHNE INGRAM, a single woman, individually and on behalf of her minor son, D.I., Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
RONALD B. LEIGHTON, District Judge.
I. FINDINGS OF FACT
1. D. I. was born in 1995 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. As the son of a career Army non-commissioned officer, D. I. moved several times before he began school. His parents divorced when D. I. was young and D. I. rarely saw his father after the divorce.
2. D. I. attended schools in Chicago, Lakewood, and on Fort Lewis and began high school at Clover Park High School in the fall of 2009. Later in the fall of 2009, D. I. transferred to Chief Leschi High School as he was interested in playing basketball for the high school.
3. D. I. attended Chief Leschi High School for the remainder of his freshman year and then as a sophomore during the 2010-2011 school year from September 2010 until June 2011. D. I. played basketball and football during his sophomore year. He completed both seasons without suffering any injuries.
4. While attending Chief Leschi High School from the fall of 2009 until the spring of 2012, D. I. lived, at various times, with his mother, his mother's former boyfriend, parents of teammates, and Chief Leschi staff members.
5. In June 2011, D. I. participated in spring football at Chief Leschi High School under the direction of Head Coach Sauni Savini and Assistant Head Coach Kirk Willis.
6. Chief Leschi is a member of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA).
7. Chief Leschi's School Handbook/Code of Conduct (Handbook) applies aspects of RCW 28A.600.190 (commonly referred to as the "Zackery Lystedt" law) to its athletic teams: (1) it requires that each student athlete sign the Lystedt Law Form and (2) it requires that "A student athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time. A student athlete who has been removed from play may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed healthcare provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and receives written clearance to return to play from that health care provider. No athlete will be allowed to participate until both student-athlete and parents/legal guardians have read and signed the Lystedt Law addendum to the athletic code of conduct."
8. Chief Leschi's Handbook also requires that: "prior to participation in a high school [sport], a student shall undergo a medical examination and be approved for interscholastic athletic competition by a medical authority... Prior to each subsequent year of participation a student shall furnish a statement, signed by a medical authority licensed to perform a physical examination, which provides clearance for continued athletic participation."
9. Chief Leschi's Handbook also states that "Student athletes requiring the attention of a physician due to illness and/or injury must have a physician's written release prior to returning to practice and/or competition."
10. Audrey Adams was the athletic director for Chief Leschi for the school years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. She routinely checked the students' eligibility requirements every week during the season. She checks grades, physical exams, parental or caregiver authorizations to participate in a sport, and acknowledgment of the requirement of Zachery Lystadt law. When the requirements are fulfilled she issues a "yellow card" to the student to give to the coach. Coach Savini received a "yellow card" for D.I. before the Ocasta game.
11. D.I. completed a physical in October 2009. Physical exams must be done every two years according to WIAA policy. There is some ambiguity in the Chief Leschi Handbook about the requirement. Chief Leschi is a K through 12 school. Ms. Adams says that, notwithstanding the distinction between middle school and high school, the policy as applied was every two years. D.I. needed to have a physical by October 22, 2011 before continuing with the football season.
12. Ms. Adams confirms that D.I. and his mother, or her former boyfriend- Joshua Pointer-signed the paperwork, including medical authorization, in September 2011. Some forms were misplaced but Ms. Adams assures the parties and the Court that the appropriate authorizations were received by the school.
13. All of Chief Leschi's football coaches, including coach Savini and assistant coaches are trained to recognize and manage concussions. Not only has coach Savini read Washington State's laws regarding concussions, he has also completed a ...