Ref hit by runaway golf cart sues school district

Ref hit by runaway golf cart sues school district »Play Video

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A high school football referee has filed a lawsuit against the Springfield School District, saying the district's negligence was responsible for a golf cart accident that caused him permanent injuries.

Kenneth Brooks was hit by a runaway golf cart before the start of a Thurston High School football game in October 2008.

Surveillance video shows the golf cart cross the field and strike Brooks.  He appears to fly in the air and lands on the field.

According to the lawsuit, Thurston High School employees left the golf cart unattended on the sidelines, with the key in the ignition. A two-year-old boy got into the cart and "the child's hands or body depressed the cart's accelerator pedal, causing the cart to travel uncontrolled across the field and strike Mr. Brooks."

A spokeswoman for the Springfield School District said the district was unable to comment today.

Shortly after the accident, a Springfield School District spokesman told KVAL News Brooks refereed part of the football game before leaving for medical treatment.

He suffered a disc hernation, concussion, occipital contusion and abrasion, cervical strain, lumbar strain and a calf abrasion, according the lawsuit. The disc herniation is a "permanent injury."

Brooks is seeking $264,722.51 for damages and medical expenses.

The lawsuit also names Brenda Newell, the mother of the toddler. The lawsuit alleges she was negligent by allowing her child to play by an unattended vehicle and get into the golf cart.

KVAL News called a phone number believed to belong to the Newell family and left a message.

Robert Perkins, the attorney representing Brooks, said he was not allowed to discuss the lawsuit.  He did say Brooks has continued to officiate high school games.