Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Child's lawsuit against midget football league over brain trauma is an inappropriate do-over, defendant says

State Court

By Karen Kidd | Nov 12, 2019

Warwick

LANCASTER — A midget football league being sued by a Lititz mother and son over traumatic brain injuries allegedly suffered by the child in 2017 objected in September to having to answer a second lawsuit that it says is identical to the first.

Warwick Midget Football League, which does business as Warwick Youth Football Association, filed its objection on Sept. 25 in Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, little more than a week after the second lawsuit was filed. Allegations in the lawsuit filed on Sept. 16 "are virtually identical to those raised" in a lawsuit filed in March 2018, according to the objection.

"It is clear that Plaintiffs have attempted to gain a do-over of their earlier pleading by bringing this 'new' action - much to the detriment of objecting defendants who have already spent significant time, money and resources in the defense of the 2018 action," the objection said.

Warwick Youth Football Association is one of two "midget" football leagues and employees being sued in both lawsuits, the eight-page preliminary objections said.

The mother and son are suing Warwick Midget Football League and Red Rose Midget Football League, which does business as Red Rose in Lancaster, and about a half-dozen of the leagues' employees.

L.R. Rettew, described as a "minor plaintiff," in September 2017 suffered "severe and permanent injuries while playing football" with the Warwick Youth Football Association and Red Rose in Lancaster, according to the more recent 16-page lawsuit he filed with his mother, Janika E. Rettew.

"Specifically, L.R. suffered a head injury during the game, and while the game was ongoing, L.R. complained to the defendants named herein of headaches, disorientation, while also displaying signs and symptoms of a head injury and/or concussion, including dizziness, disorientation and confusion," the lawsuit said. "Despite his complaints, the defendants named herein allowed L.R. to return to the field to play, and he suffered multiple injuries, including but not limited to a traumatic brain injury and concussion."

L.R. Rettew has since undergone "extensive medical treatment and surgery" to treat his injuries and more treatment is expected, according to the lawsuit.

"L.R.'s tragic injuries were preventable," the lawsuit said.

The mother and son are claiming negligence and are seeking compensatory damages with interest, in addition to costs and attorney fees.

The 2018 case is assigned to common pleas Judge Jeffrey D. Wright.

Since the first lawsuit was filed, the mother and son, as well as husband and stepfather Lance McKinnon - listed as a plaintiff in the first lawsuit but not in the second - have hired new counsel and defendants have spent more than $37,000 fighting the litigation, the objection said.

"Additionally, by attempting to restart the process with a new complaint on a new docket, plaintiffs' have been granted almost 19 months of pre-complaint discovery without leave of court," the objection said. "All of this has been done to the extreme detriment of objecting defendants."

Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas case no. CI-19-08790

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Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas

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