Orange County, California – Greenberg Gross, working with Jeff Anderson and Associates, has filed a lawsuit against Mater Dei High School for an egregious hazing incident that resulted in a brain injury to a student, a newcomer to the top-ranked football team. The hazing ritual, referred to as “Bodies” by teammates, involves two players squaring off and throwing punches at each other with an unwritten rule that the blows remain constrained to the upper-body and torso region. The hazing is over when one player submits.
In this case, the plaintiff, the football player being hazed, was struck multiple times in the head. Consequently, the impacts resulted in various bloody gashes to his face, a broken nose, and a traumatic brain injury. As a result, Mater Dei is now making efforts to downplay the seriousness of this violent attack.
Mater Dei head coach, Bruce Rollinson, said “If I had a hundred dollars for every time these kids played Bodies or Slappies, I’d be a millionaire” when discussing the physical assault with the plaintiff’s father. However, he later denied that hazing exists in the Mater Dei program during a police interview.
Eventually, the plaintiff withdrew from the Mater Dei program and transferred to another school where he was deemed ineligible to participate in any California Interscholastic Federation sports. Due to how Mater Dei filled out his transfer papers, the plaintiff was flagged with a “disciplinary restriction” as a punitive measure for revealing the toxic culture within the program.
Greenberg Gross Partner Brian Williams said, “This incident (shows) that Mater Dei is more concerned about protecting its brand as a top-ranked football program in the country than protecting its students.”
The lawsuit was filed against Mater Dei High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for various forms of negligence, intentional inflection of emotional distress, along with medical and legal expenses.
Once available, further coverage will be updated here.
Linked and Related News Coverage:
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- Former Mater Dei AD says school mishandled hazing case
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- Mater Dei president resigns after football team hazing scandal
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- Football powerhouse Mater Dei confronts hazing scandal with a wall of silence
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- ‘He would be dead:’ Mother recounts how Mater Dei football players allegedly beat her son
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- Column: Parents of ex-Mater Dei football player share new details of attack, school response
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- Mater Dei must make changes after video exposes hazing; it starts with Rollinson
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- Mater Dei High School Facing Hazing Lawsuit
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- Hazing left former Mater Dei HS football player with traumatic brain injury, lawsuit claims
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- Mater Dei locker room ritual left bloodied football player with brain injury, broken nose
November 23, 2021 | Orange County Register
- Lawsuit: Ex-Mater Dei football player alleges hazing led to brain injury
November 23, 2021 | Los Angeles Times
Greenberg Gross Contact
Brian Williams: 949.383.2780