Lincoln board disputes former student claim for injuries from fight

By Cara Bailey | Apr 16, 2007

HAMLIN - A student at the former Hamlin High School says the Lincoln County Board of Education is partly to blame for injuries she suffered after being attacked at a basketball game.

Sarah Marie Lucas is suing a student at a rival school and the Lincoln County Board of Education for $500,000 after the other student attacked her after a basketball game.

Lucas, through Huntington attorney Joe Farrell Jr., filed a suit Feb. 2 in Lincoln Circuit Court, against Alyssa Smith and the board. The board, through counsel Carter Elkins, filed a countersuit March 2.

Lucas claims Smith, a cheerleader at the former Guyan Valley High School, attacked her Feb. 4, 2005, after a basketball game at Guyan Valley. According to Lucas' suit, the attack caused severe and permanent injury, including brain injury, after Lucas was knocked to the pavement.

However, the answer filed by the board claims Lucas attacked Smith, and therefore, if Lucas suffered any injury, it was a result of her attack on Smith.

Lucas claims she has suffered pain and suffering, disfigurement, scarring, medical expenses, embarrassment and humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the attack.

She seeks compensation in the amount of $500,000, claiming the board should have provided better security and should have taken into consideration the rivalry that existed between the two schools.

However, the board claims the basketball game was not the responsibility of the board, but instead was sponsored by Guyan Valley High School.

Guyan Valley and Hamlin high schools are no longer in existence. Students who used to attend those schools now go to the new Lincoln County High School.

The board seeks for the case to be dismissed, claiming Lucas failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted against the board, and that Lucas attacked Smith first, causing her own injuries.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jay Hoke.

Lincoln Circuit Court case number 07-C-16

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