LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Hacienda Heights high school student has filed a lawsuit against his coach and the school district alleging that the wrestling coach’s weight loss order caused him to have a stroke and brain injury.
Rosario Fernandez filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of her grandson, Luis Gonzales.
The complaint names defendants Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, Los Altos High School and wrestling coach Rene Olague.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
A district representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The student, now 16, was set to take part in a wrestling match in January 2015 at his 132-pound weight level, according to the lawsuit. Two days before the match, Olague allegedly told Gonzales to lose six pounds before the competition.
“The instruction contradicts tests done at the outset of the season that limited the amount of weight that should be lost to no more than two pounds in one week,” according to the lawsuit.
The teen was “dehydrated and fatigued” on the day of the match, the suit states. He not only took part in the competition, but also helped other wrestlers bring mats back and forth.
The suit says the teen woke up with a headache the next day and did not go to school at his grandmother’s request. One day later, he returned to school to take part in wrestling practice and began a two-mile jog, the suit states.
The teen felt dizzy while running and collapsed, the suit states. The suit also alleges Olague did not call 911 or seek medical help/ A friend and teammate of the wrestler helped him to the practice room, the suit states.
The teen called for his grandmother to come get him but when she arrived he could not get up, the suit states.
“Ms. Fernandez then attempted to lift plaintiff and help him to her car, but was unsuccessful and plaintiff was unable to walk,” according to the complaint.
The suit alleges the teen later found out he suffered a stroke and brain injury because of Olague’s “actions and omissions.”
The complaint further maintains the district negligently hired, supervised and retained a wrestling coach who was unfit.
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