Ann Maher Feb. 3, 2014, 4:13pm

East Alton Wood River Community High School has answered a “Town Ball” personal injury complaint saying that any damages suffered by the allegedly injured student were caused in whole or in part by him.

Defense attorney Donald Ohl of Edwardsville also argues that the school district (#14) is entitled to various protections and immunities provided in the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder presides over the case filed by Amanda Lane, mother of student Hunter O’Brien.

Lane claims her son was running from third to second base when he collided with a teammate running from second to third base. They hit heads, causing the O’Brien to fall backwards and strike his head on the gym floor, resulting in loss of permanent teeth, an eye injury and head injury, the suit states.

Crowder had granted a defense motion to dismiss on Nov. 22. The school district had argued that the complaint failed to allege the proper legal duty applicable for both willful and wanton conduct and negligence.

Crowder also allowed the plaintiff to refile the complaint.

Lane filed her amended complaint through attorney Samuel A. Mormino Jr. of Mormino, Belloff & Snider in Alton.

According to her amended complaint, O’Brien was required by faculty supervisors and teachers to play Town Ball in gym class on Sept. 18, 2012, which calls for players to run toward bases in opposite directions while also paying attention to the action in the field.

In her amended complaint, Lane claims the class was mandatory and was overseen by school faculty members.

“The defendant, through its agents, servants and employees, acted with the knowledge that such conduct in requiring the children to play a game with these conditions posed a high probability of serious physical harm,” the amended complaint states.

Lane seeks a judgment of more than $100,000.

The school district filed its answer, affirmative defenses and motion to dismiss on Jan. 2.

On Jan. 17, the school district filed a motion to compel production of discovery requests.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-1587

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