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Published: Tuesday, 5/13/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago

Death of football player sparks suit

Estate seeks damages from team


The estate of a semiprofessional football player who died during a benefit game at Springfield High School in 2012 filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Monday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Shawn Allport of Malinta, Ohio, administrator of the estate of David Coleman II, filed suit against the Crossroads Football League based in Indianapolis; the Northwest Ohio Knights, a Toledo-based team; the Jay County Panthers, a Portland, Ind.-based team; and the unknown manufacturers and sellers of the football pads, gear, and equipment purchased by Mr. Coleman.

Mr. Coleman, 32, of Napoleon was playing football for the Panthers in a May 12, 2012, preseason game against the Knights when he was “struck in the chest by a member of Defendant Knights, and sustained severe and permanent injuries and ultimately death resulted,” the complaint states.

The suit, which seeks damages in excess of $25,000, alleges the league and the teams failed to institute adequate safety rules, failed to instruct players on the standards and specifications required for pads, gear, and equipment, failed to control the manner and methods in which the games were conducted, and failed to adequately inspect equipment worn by players, among other allegations.

The complaint, which has been assigned to Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings, also alleges the manufacturer and seller of the equipment were negligent.

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