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Hope Student, Nunica Family File Separate Civil Lawsuits in Tragic Accidents

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UNDATED (WHTC) - A paralyzing injury and a death, suffered in separate accidents involving persons with ties to the Lakeshore, are the focus of two civil lawsuits seeking damages that has surfaced as this year comes to a close.

James Sa is looking for at least 25 thousand dollars, including court costs and legal fees, from organizers of the “Warrior Dash” series. The then-Hope College senior from suburban Detroit suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic when he dove, head-first, into a mud pit during an endurance event in the Flint area nearly 18 months ago. In the litigation, filed in Genesee County Circuit Court, Sa admits that he signed a waiver beforehand, agreeing not to dive into any mud pits, but he claims that the emcee of the event then goaded him and other competitors to ignore that deal.

Meanwhile, the family of 11-year-old Chance Nash continues to seek financial redress for the Nunica youth’s death nearly three years ago, when he slammed into a fallen tree branch while sledding at Duncan Park in Grand Haven. Two earlier lawsuits against the city’s Parks Commission and a trust involving a provision that no fallen trees or logs be removed were thrown out by Ottawa County Circuit Court Judge Jon Hulsing. The new litigation claims that a part-time groundskeeper failed to properly keep the park “in a reasonably safe condition … for sledding,” and is asking for the same damages as Sa’s lawsuit.

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