AUBURN, Maine — A former cheerleader is suing her former coach and the high school she attended two years ago when she suffered a concussion during practice.
Olivia Doyer, 19, of Mechanic Falls and her parents, Douglas and Roxanne Doyer, filed a lawsuit in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Tuesday.
In their complaint, they said that on March 15, 2010, during a Poland Regional High School cheering team practice, Olivia Doyer fell to the floor while performing a cheering stunt known as a “basket toss.”
In an earlier interview with the Sun Journal, Doyer described her injuries, including cervical sprain and disc impingement. She also suffered the aftereffects of a concussion, which plagued her for more than a year with physical symptoms and limited her academic progress.
She said that, at times, she couldn’t turn her head without getting dizzy or sit in a room without being bothered by the light or read more than a couple of lines in a book without the pressure in her head building to an agonizing level. She slept a lot, she said. It was the only time she wasn’t in pain.
A year after the injury, the former honors student who planned a career as a math professor had dropped to half-time status at school and scaled back her scholarship to basic-level courses.
In June 2010, she had put her school, Poland Regional High School, on notice that she might file a lawsuit in the future. A month later, she notified her coach, Kathleen Hebert of Auburn, of the same. In the notice, the family claimed $10 million in damages, but no amount was given in the lawsuit.
In her complaint, Doyer claimed Hebert:
* Failed to properly supervise the cheering practice;
* Failed to discontinue the practice after Doyer’s injury;
* Failed to observe Doyer’s injury and failed to quickly provide medical attention for her;
* Violated various industry rules, codes and standards: and
* Failed to perform other duties imposed on her under Maine law.
Doyer always exercised “due care,” according to the complaint.
In her letters to Hebert and RSU 16 (to which Poland Regional High School belongs), Doyer said she suffered neck and traumatic brain injuries. Her medical care was ongoing and her parents expected to continue to incur medical expenses related to her injuries. The full extent of her brain injury was unknown, the letter said.
In the family’s complaint, they also are suing Jon Beking of Westbrook, whom they say was driving a vehicle in Portland on June 15, 2010, that collided with a vehicle in which Doyer was a passenger.
Due to Beking’s negligence, Doyer suffered personal injuries that resulted in medical expenses, according to the complaint.
Doyer’s parents are seeking damages related to their daughter’s medical expenses.