Settlement reached in injury lawsuit

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(Photo courtesy DIRK KNUDSEN) Using his wheelchair, Bobby Clark visited the Seattle Seahawks' practice Aug. 7, where he got autographs from Russell Wilson and other NFL players.

SANDPOINT — A settlement has been reached in a civil suit brought by the parents of a Priest River teen who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a high school football game in 2011.

Counsel for the West Bonner County School District advised 1st District Judge Barbara Buchanan on Wednesday that a settlement agreement in the case has been signed, although it has not yet been filed in court.

Dismissal paperwork is also signed, although Buchanan told the district’s counsel, Bentley Stromberg, it wouldn’t be entered into the record until the terms of the settlement are presented, court records show.

Robert Clark II and Julie Clark filed suit against the district and other defendants in 2013 on behalf of their son, Robert “Bobby” Norman Clark III, who was injured during a Priest River Lamanna High School football game against Timberlake High School.

The younger Clark was a varsity offensive and defensive lineman for the Priest River Spartans.

Counsel for the student athlete alleged in the suit that Clark was briefly removed from the game after becoming injured, but was sent back out onto the field by unidentified coaches. He returned to the sidelines two plays later and collapsed.

Clark was flown to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where he underwent emergency surgery and was placed on life support, the suit said.

The suit against the school district alleged that school officials bore liability for the injury and associated expenses that resulted from the event, continuing to this day and projected well into the future.

Also named as defendants were sporting good manufacturers Riddell Sports, Easton-Bell and Kranos Corp., which does business as Schutt Sports. However, they were dismissed as defendants as the litigation wore on.

The case was scheduled to be tried before a jury in 2016, although those proceedings were supplanted by a succession of status hearings.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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