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Held & Hines Quoted Regarding Injury at Syracuse University

New York Daily News: Marc Held, Partner, Held & Hines, LLP quoted regarding student injured at Syracuse University

Man sues Syracuse University after boxing club session leaves him with brain injury


The vision of an aspiring wordsmith was knocked out in an unexpected sparring session with his boxing instructor, according to a new lawsuit.

Gabriel Sansone joined Syracuse University’s boxing club in the beginning of his senior year for exercise purposes, the suit says.

Things went left on October 13, 2014 when instructor, Tony Chao, invited him in the ring for a “non-contact shadow boxing-like exercise drill.”

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications student was not given any safety head gear, protective helmet or any equipment to protect his head, according to the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

During the one-on-one session, Chao, who trained and competed in the Golden Gloves Boxing Tournaments, “repeatedly, continuously and unexpectedly punched him in the head,” the suit says.

The coach, Thomas Smith, who is also named as a defendant, did not intervene in the negligent and reckless act of Chao, the suit says.

Sansone also charged that Smith, “never informed (him) that would be subject to physical contact including being struck in the head during the practices and instructional session.”

The 22-year-old suffered a “concussed brain injury which has led to an ocular disability,” his attorney Marc Held said.

“It’s been a really tough time. It’s challenging not knowing when or if I will be able to return to a normal life,” said Sansone in an email.

Sansone is no longer able to effectively read, write or even watch television and was forced to drop out of school.

“When someone sends their child off to college, they are entrusting that they will be safe,” said Held.

Sansone studied television, film and radio with hopes of becoming an author or screenwriter and maintained a 3.8 grade point average at the time of the incident.

“It is heartbreaking for any parent to be informed that their child was severely hurt during a class because proper safety protocols were not followed. We hope Syracuse University will learn from this incident and ensure that no other students get hurt like Gabriel Sansone,” Held charged.

A spokesman for Syracuse said, “We work very hard to ensure the well-being of our students. Given this is pending litigation I am unable to comment on the specifics of the case.”

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