CHARLES TOWN - A paper football match was fun and games until somebody got hit in the eye, the mother of the boy allegedly struck says.
Rebecca Sullivan says her son Matthew was the victim of a classmate's "reckless" behavior in a lawsuit filed May 30 in Jefferson Circuit Court and is suing the Jefferson County Board of Education and Nel Glover, the parent and next friend of William Umbaugh.
"Without justification, William Umbaugh used a rubber band to propel a paper clip into the right eye of Matthew Sullivan," the complaint says. "The injury occurred after a series of volleys of so-called 'paper footballs' by the two minors as well as other students."
The two were students at Harpers Ferry Middle School on May 28, 2004, when the incident occurred.
Rebecca Sullivan blames the school for not monitoring the classroom. Charles Wall was the teacher of her son's class.
"Charles Wall was in the classroom during the entire episode, which culminated in the injury to Matthew Sullivan, yet did nothing to stop the misbehavior," the complaint says.
The complaint adds that Matthew has undergone six eye surgeries and may require more to correct the problem, which includes blurred vision, impaired depth perception, loss of normal sight and loss of normal appearance of the eye.
Sullivan says she has spent more than $35,000 in medical expenses and is represented by Lawrence M. Schultz.
Judge Thomas Steptoe, Jr. has been assigned the case.
Jefferson Circuit Court case number 06-C-192