Former Clemson University soccer player Haley Ellen Hunt has filed a lawsuit against her former teammates, coaches, and school administrators for a hazing incident that damaged her brain permanently. Screamer published the lawsuit yesterday.
The incident happened in 2011 when Hunt was a freshman on the women’s soccer team. Her lawsuit claims senior members of the team blindfolded her, spun her around, and told her to sprint as fast as she could.
Hunt, still blindfolded, started sprinting straight towards a wall. Instead of her teammates warning her to stop, they told her to keep running. She ran straight into the wall and was knocked unconscious.
Hunt’s face, brain, head, and hands were all seriously injured in the collision. Several players wanted to call an ambulance, but coaches objected and waved trainers over instead. The coaches told the players not to tell anyone about what happened.
Hunt was never taken to the hospital. Instead, a trainer placed a few butterfly bandages on her wounds and set her back to her dorm.
Years after the collision, with health problems lingering, Hunt saw a concussion specialist. The specialist told her she suffers from “substantial decreased cognitive function” from the collision and advised her to quit playing soccer. She now has to undergo regular neurological treatment and takes medication daily. Her vision is permanently damaged by the event.
Coaches from the team never reported the collision. They told players that if they cared about their coaching staff's jobs, they wouldn't report it either. After years of complaints from Hunt’s parents, the school’s athletic department conducted an investigation of the event. They declined to punish anyone involved and told the team to carry out hazing in a “better way” going forward.
Since the athletic department’s investigation was ultimately fruitless, Hunt and her family resorted to the legal system for justice. Their lawsuit is suing 14 players, three coaches, and thirteen Clemson administrators for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, false imprisonment, and deprivation to her Constitutional right of bodily integrity.