WINFIELD, W.Va. -- The parents of a Hurricane High School student are suing the Putnam County Board of Education on behalf of their son, who they say suffered a traumatic brain injury at the school.
Two years ago, two archery targets enclosed in wooden frames weighing about 65 pounds each fell, striking the then-sophomore at Hurricane High School, slamming his head against his desk and knocking him unconscious, a lawsuit filed in Putnam Circuit Court last week alleges.
Jimmy and Lorie Fitzwater, of Culloden, filed the suit on behalf of their juvenile son, who is now significantly impaired, according to the complaint.
On Sept. 9, 2010, the Fitzwaters' son was sitting in the back of a classroom at Hurricane High, near where about 15 of the archery targets were stacked and stored, the complaint states.
The targets were 33 inches square and 12 inches deep, according to the complaint. They were stacked "four or five archery targets wide, two targets deep, with the remaining archery targets stacked on top of the others," the suit claims.
Another student, who somehow came in contact with a target, caused others to fall and strike the back of the boy's head, according to the complaint.
"The force of the blow then drove the front of [the boy's] head directly onto the top of his desk. As a direct and proximate result of these dual blows to his head, [the boy] suffered an immediate loss of consciousness and, thereafter, an altered state of consciousness for an extended period of time," according to the complaint.
The Fitzwaters claim the board of education failed to provide a safe classroom, among other things. According to the suit, since the incident, the boy has suffered short-term and permanent life altering cognitive and emotional deficits and residual effects.
The Fitzwaters, who are represented by John Cyrus, a Huntington attorney, have and will continue to incur significant medical expenses, according to the complaint.
"Jimmy Fitzwater and Lorie Fitzwater have also suffered the loss of consortium of their son ...," the complaint states.
Hurricane High Principal Dick Campbell wasn't available for comment Wednesday afternoon. Lorie Fitzwater works at Hurricane High, according to the school's website.
Putnam County Superintendent Chuck Hatfield said he hadn't been informed about the 2010 alleged incident or the lawsuit. He said he would look into the matter.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.