Minerva Middle School Settles Wrestler's Injury Claim

In Stark county, the Minerva Middle School was recently sued after a wrestler was allegedly injured, traumatized, and abused in a practice drill as part of the Minerva wrestling team. In early January of 2021, a probate judge in Stark county approved a legal settlement in the case. It is important to understand that as with most states, injury settlements in Ohio that involve minors must be approved by a probate court. 

The complaint in the Minerva wrestler’s injury case was originally filed in December 2019 and was filed in the Stark County Common Pleas Court. The Defendants were the Minerva Local Schools Board of Education as well as two coaches for the district.

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The case originally was filed by the parents of an athlete at the school allegeding cruel punishments that the athlete allegedly endured “beyond all bounds of decency” according to The Alliance Review. Criminal charges were originally filed but ultimately dismissed prior to the filing of this civil injury suit. There were other children as well who allegedly endured similar treatment. A succinct summary of the injury in this cases was:

“Under the guise of a drill, the (defendants) subjected (the child) to repeated assault, at the insistence and direction of (Smith) to punish (the boy) for having used the restroom during practice for what they deemed to be too long.”

The conduct alleged in the lawsuit was that towards the conclusion of the wrestling team practice, coaches named in the lawsuit subjected the boy to the rest of the team taking him down and due to this, the athlete was seriously injured. The child complained to his parents about “pain in the abdomen” according to the court filing.

The case was settled although no admission of wrongdoing was made. According to Canton news source The Repository, the personal injury settlement includes “$125,000 paid by the defendants as compensation for the injuries, the pain and suffering of the boy and his family, as well as for attorney fees. Funds will be divided three ways, with $41,647 awarded to the parents; $41,647 for the boy and not accessible until age 18; and $41,662 designated for attorney fees.“

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About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a Toledo, Ohio based Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Truck Accident, Car Accident and Insurance Law Firm with lawyers licensed to practice in Ohio, Michigan and Georgia.

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Dennis P. Sawan


Licensed in Ohio and Georgia


Christopher A. Sawan


Licensed in Ohio and Michigan


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