MADISON -- A mother has filed a personal injury suit against the Boone County Board of Education, alleging her seventh-grade daughter suffered nose and eye socket fractures when struck in the face by a bat during softball practice in the Wharton Grade School gym.

Julie Sullivan, parent/guardian of Mikaela Lynn Nottingham Sullivan, cites school board negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Her complaint identifies Patty Joy Adkins as coach of the Van Junior/Senior High team during an April 2009 practice.

According to Sullivan, "Coach Adkins requested (Mikaela) play the position of catcher ... she was not provided with the proper safety equipment for this position, including a face mask."

The girl normally played in the outfield. The complaint says the coach was hitting softballs to teammates when she "hit Mikaela Lynn Nottingham Sullivan directly in the face with the metal baseball bat."

Despite a profuse nose bleed and swelling, according to the complaint, "... Coach Adkins never attempted to obtain medical treatment" for the girl. A family friend took her to the hospital some five hours after the injury took place. She was diagnosed with a fractured nose and right eye socket, Sullivan says.

The girl missed two weeks of school and couldn't participate in softball the remainder of last year, and Julie Sullivan lost wages attending to her then 13-year-old daughter.

Suit demands jury awards for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of ability to enjoy 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 Plaintiffs are entitled.

Attorneys for Sullivan are Brian L. Ooten and Jamie F. Little in Judge William S. Thompson's Boone Circuit Court.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 10-C-161

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