City College rejects $5 million claim

Kyle Rokes, News Editor

 

The Board of Trustees has announced the college will not be paying more than $5 million in claims made by a student who alleges he suffered injuries during a soccer class last summer.

On July 7 of last year, Johann Salgado was goalkeeping during practice in Elings Park when, according to the claim, he was struck unconscious by a ball kicked to his head.

The claim, filed on Salgado’s behalf by attorneys Schurmer and Drane of Santa Barbara, goes on to state that neither coach John Sisterson nor two employees with the college’s Transition Program gave Salgado proper first aid in a timely manner.

As a result, the claim alleges Salgado suffered a severe seizure.

Salgado is enrolled in the school’s Transition Program, a service that helps developmentally disabled students attend college-level courses.

Salgado is said to also have experienced difficulty seeing as well as weakness and limited use of his left hand as a result of the accident.

The class was held at Elings Park instead of La Playa Stadium due to construction to the track and field last year. So, because it wasn’t on school grounds, campus security has no record of the event.

But Salgado was taken to Cottage hospital after the seizure that occurred three hours after the ball struck him.

The claim holds the college liable for $44,185.01 in hospital expenses and an additional $5,000,000 for “general damages.”

Several calls made to Shurmer and Drane were not returned.

A statewide, risk-sharing pool to which the school belongs, will cover any legal fees for the college if Salgado’s family and lawyers decide to sue.

By law, a government entity has 45 days to respond from the date a claim is filed against it. Salgado’s claim was filed Dec. 27 and the Trustees deliberated the matter during a closed session of their Jan. 27 meeting.