LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A well-known Louisville sportscaster has filed a lawsuit against Trinity High School almost a year after he suffered a serious knee injury while covering a football game.
Fred Cowgill, the sports director at WLKY-TV, filed the lawsuit in Jefferson Circuit Court on Monday.
The incident in question took place on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, at Marshall Stadium on Trinity High School's campus.
According to the lawsuit, Cowgill arrived at the stadium with a camera to cover Trinity's season-opener against Carmel High School. He was there to shoot and report the game for WLKY and no credential was required, the lawsuit claims.
"The subject game was the season opener and it was the first game for new THS head football coach Jay Cobb, who was replacing local legend Bob Beatty, who had just retired," the lawsuit states. "THS knew or should have known that interest in the game was significant."
Cowgill was admitted to the playing field area and was recording video on the visitor's sideline, which had become crowded, according to the lawsuit.
Specifically, the lawsuit says that area was occupied by more than 100 players and coaches, other reporters, field officials, the sideline chain crew and other onlookers, who were, "limiting space outside the inbounds playing surface and inside the fence, leaving little, if any, room for a reporter, situated as was Cowgill, to escape athletes who were engaged in playing the game as they ran at full speed toward the sidelines during the course of play."
As a result, the lawsuit says Cowgill was injured when several football players ran off the sidelines during a goal-line play and crashed into him while he was shooting the game.
Cowgill suffered a serious knee injury -- including a dislocated patella -- and had to be transported for treatment. Since then, he has received continuous care for his knee, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit faults Trinity for failing to prevent overcrowding on the sidelines and failing to warn him about the dangers. According to the lawsuit, no one on the sidelines was given a field pass and the players' area inside the fence was too small. The suit claims both conditions were contributing factors to the overcrowding.
Additionally, the lawsuit argues that the school should have known that the game was highly anticipated, not just because of the new coach but also due to Trinity's High School's reputation in high school football and the quality of its players.
"The caliber of play and the athleticism of the players at THS is significantly higher than that of most high schools on the local, state and even national levels," the lawsuit states, going on to cite 27 state championships won by the school.
"Despite its knowledge of the skills, speed, power and athleticism of its players and that of its opponents," the lawsuit says Trinity failed to protect Cowgill.
As a result, Cowgill is asking for a jury trial, payment for damages, court costs and other relief.
WDRB has reached out to Trinity High School for comment. At this time, no response has been received.
This story may be updated.
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