New Warren De La Salle lawsuit claims adults were negligent in responding to 2018 student assault

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 05:55:50-05

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — A new lawsuit has been brought against Warren De La Salle High School and school officials by a student wrestler involving an alleged 2018 assault.

The student claims that during a wrestling practice at the Brother Robert Activity Center in January 2018, he was assaulted by another student wrestler. The lawsuit further claims that after the assault, faculty at the center, as well as school faculty, did not take proper steps to address the incident.

The plaintiff claims in the lawsuit that the attacker approached him and violently punched him with a closed fist in the face. The impact made the plaintiff's head hit the wall behind him, causing him to become unconscious for a moment.

When the plaintiff regained consciousness, he alleges that he was then kicked in the head.

The attacker was later investigated and convicted of assault.

The lawsuit claims that during the attack, the wrestling coach, Bob Szukala, was not present, nor any faculty from the center at that time. However, after Szukala arrived at the location, wrestling practice continued as normal without taking attention to the plaintiff's injuries, the lawsuit claims.

The plaintiff says that coach Szukala failed to seek immediate medical attention for him, and failed to have the team trainer examine his injuries. The lawsuit claims that police or EMS were not notified and the plaintiff's parents were not contacted as practice continued on as normal.

John Knight, president of De La Salle, allegedly failed to reprimand Szukala or "implement policies on supervision" going forward.

The student is seeking more than $25,000 in damages. The school, the activity center where the assault took place, the wrestling coach, school administrators and the student charged in the assault are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

The school released the below statement: "This was an unfortunate situation that happened a few years ago and it was handled at that time. We can't speak about student conduct as that is confidential. We will address the current lawsuit accordingly."