ALDEN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Three school districts in Western New York are facing a lawsuit involving a school wrestler. It was filed this week in State Supreme Court.
It names the Alden Central School District, Frontier Central School District and the Starpoint Central Schools as well as section six and New York State Public Athletic High School Association (NYSPAHSA).
The wrestler claims he was hurt during a tournament in 2018.
This lawsuit says Alden High School wrestler Ethan Hutchenreuter suffered "serious bodily injuries during a wrestling match at the 138 pound varsity level with a student wrestler" from Frontier High School and that it occurred a tournament December 14, 2018 at Starpoint in Lockport.
The attorney representing the family declined to discuss the case.
But the wrestler's mother, Kristen Hutchenreuter, wrote a Facebook post two days after the tournament, December 16, 2018.
She stated her son "suffered a concussion and spinal cord injury wrestling" and he was required to wear a “neck collar” for the next three months. She also wrote it was quote "an illegal body slam" and it "never should have happened."
“In the course of wrestling, students are going to come in contact with each other. they’re going to get thrown to the ground. There’s a chance they will be injured,” remarked Florina Altshiler, Buffalo attorney.
Altshiler can not comment directly about this case, but could speak about the 'risk in sports'.
“He would need to establish that the school district was either on notice of a dangerous condition or knew that there was something going on that was a departure from the standard and they failed to act failed to protect him,” Altshiler explained.
Two examples of failing to protect him could be the frontier wrestler had a 'known history of violating the rules' or the Alden wrestler was placed in the wrong weight class.
The court documents state Hutchenreuter injuries arose "solely out of the negligence, recklessness and/or carelessness of the defendants".
The Alden and Frontier schools superintendent and executive director of Section VI in our region all have no comment.