A UC Davis volleyball player is suing the University of Oregon for a flying umbrella that struck and cut her face during a windy mid-April beach volleyball game.
The complaint, filed June 6 in the circuit court of Oregon, alleges negligence on the part of a University of Oregon assistant coach that resulted in a major facial laceration for freshman setter Jane Seslar which requires multiple surgeries.
The match was played April 12 on UC Davis courts.
According to the complaint, coaches from both teams were aware of the danger the umbrellas could cause in windy conditions, as they had a tendency “to become unsecured” and “carried by the wind.”
One of the umbrellas had already been kicked up by the wind and was unsecured before Seslar’s injury, at which point university staff instructed “those who had access” to take down the umbrellas, the lawsuit said.
But a University of Oregon coach put an umbrella back up. According to the suit, the umbrella flew off with the wind and hit Seslar in the face, “propelling her to the ground” and causing a “large, deep vertical laceration from the lip to the bottom of the jawline.”
Seslar is seeking $850,000 non-economic damages caused by “disfigurement, pain, fear, anxiety, symptoms of post-traumatic stress, feelings of increased vulnerability, and interference with ordinary activity,” according to the lawsuit.
Economic damages for medical expenses and necessary disbursements are yet to be determined.
“We were very sad to hear about the UC Davis student’s injury and we hope that she is doing well,” said Molly Blancett, a spokeswoman for the University of Oregon to the Daily Emerald. “We disagree with the allegations in the complaint about what led to the injuries but are unable to provide additional information at this time due to the pending litigation.”
The court will automatically rule in favor of Seslar if the University of Oregon does not respond by July 13, according to the Daily Emerald.
The University of Oregon has not responded to requests for comment from The Bee.
Jane Seslar is a graduate of Lowell High School in San Francisco, where she was named the All-Academic Athletic Association’s player of the year as a junior. She is currently a psychology major at UC Davis.