By Brian Murphy
Former Boise State heavyweight wrestler Samuel Zylstra has filed suit against Boise State and the state of Idaho for more than $10,000 for negligence related to his treatment after suffering a concussion in a match, according to a complaint filed in District Court.
In court documents, Zylstra claims he was concussed in his first match at the 2010 Pac-10 wrestling championships on Feb. 26. He said he was allowed to continue that match after a brief suspension and also wrestle in subsequent matches on the 26th and 27th.
Zylstra said he suffered from impaired vision, severe bleeding, headaches, cognitive impairment and memory loss after the Pac-10 meet.
Zylstra withdrew from the NCAA meet with an injury, according to an Idaho Statesman story.
In the complaint, Zylstra said he was insulted and criticized by coaches and teammates for refusing to participate in the NCAA Championships. After the Pac-10 meet, his school performance and performance in ROTC activities suffered. Due to the injuries, Zylstra says, he dropped out of school, was dropped from the ROTC program and discharged from the Army reserves.
His behavior became very erratic, including uncharacteristic bursts of anger, the complaint states.
Zylstra alleges that Boise State "breached (its) duty by instructing and/or allowing (him) to continue wrestling following the suspension of action in the first match and further breached that duty by instructing and/or allowing him to wrestle throughout the remainder of the championships."
The suit argues that the treatment "constituted a substantial departure from the standard of care constituting gross negligence."
Zylstra's Spokane, Wash.-based attorney Geoffrey Swindler said his client must prove "that Boise State did not follow the standard of care and he suffered injuries as a result of their failure to do that."
Zylstra is asking for general damages in excess of $10,000 as well as money for past, present and future medical bills, interest on all medical and out-of-pocket expenses and money for lost income, wages and earning capacity.
Boise State issued a statement to the Statesman about the case. "The university is aware of the filing and will defer to the process of the judicial system," the school said.