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posted: 3/26/2010 12:01 AM

McHenry High School Dist. 156 sued over child's basketball injury

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The father of a 13-year-old boy injured playing basketball at McHenry High School's East Campus sued the school district Thursday, saying it failed to take measures to protect children's' safety in the gym.

The suit, filed in McHenry County Circuit Court, seeks at least $50,000 in damages on behalf of Bailey Stefka who, the litigation states, suffered a concussion, severe brain injury and the onset of Kleine-Levin Syndrome as a result of the incident.

Kleine-Levin Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by excessive periods of sleep and changes in a person's behavior and orientation.

According to the suit, Bailey, of McHenry, was at the gym playing in a youth basketball game Feb. 22, 2009, when he was fouled near the south basket. The foul forced him off the court and into an unpadded wall. The suit claims district officials had received complaints and inquiries about the lack of protection under the basket, but did not install padding until after the boy was injured.

"(The school) had actual knowledge of the unsafe condition and failed to take necessary action for the safety of minor children playing basketball," the suit states.

McHenry High School District 156 Superintendent Teresa Lane said she had not seen the suit as of Thursday and could not comment.

The suit, which also lists the Greater Suburban Basketball Association as a defendant, is scheduled to make its first court appearance July 29.