Baseball accident prompts lawsuit

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 7/27/18 2:45am

Colton French ’19 is suing the College after a Feb. 9, 2016 baseball incident left him with serious injuries and loss of vision in his right eye.

The incident occurred when French used an L-shaped screen to pitch to a batter in a net-enclosed practice area inside Leverone Arena. Having never used the screen before, French was struck in the eye when he did not keep his head behind the metal screen. The hit to his eye resulted in fragmented facial bones and a crushed eye socket.

The lawsuit alleges that the College was negligent because the screen was both old and inappropriate for the College’s use, the facility was not well illuminated and the coaches did not appropriately instruct French how to use the screen.

Since the incident, French has gone through medical treatments which have cost more than $430,000 and was unable to complete the 2015-16 school year, delaying his graduation. Additionally, since he lost vision in his right eye and has a metal plate in his head, he can no longer play baseball and other sports. The lawsuit also noted that French will not be able to pursue a career which requires full peripheral vision, strong detail perception or depth perception.

“As a result of his injuries, and their life-altering effect on him, the plaintiff has suffered from depression and anxiety, for which he has required counseling,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the incident. It also alleges that the College videotaped the incident and subsequently discarded the tapes despite the possibility of an investigation in the aftermath of the accident.

French could not be reached for comment as of press time. College spokesperson Diana Lawrence declined to comment.