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Breaking: Former Pacer files lawsuit against LOSD

Marqueese Royster seeks $501,500 after being struck by an assistant coach last summer


Former Lakeridge High School football player Marqueese Royster, who was stuck in the face by assistant coach Michael Cole during a preseason practice in 2013, filed a lawsuit this week against Cole and the Lake Oswego School District for $501,500.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, claims that the district did not properly train Cole and that complaints about Cole's behavior prior to the incident were not handled properly. Royster is seeking $1,500 in economic damages and $500,000 in non-economic damages, including emotional trauma, pain and suffering.

The lawsuit stems from a highly-publicized incident last August in which Royster, a defensive lineman, suffered a split lip and bruised face after being punched by Cole. Cole, a voluntary assistant, was promptly dismissed from the team and later sentenced to three days in jail, two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

The incident kick-started a bizarre and rocky football season at Lakeridge, which featured a power struggle between coaches, accusations of unsportsmanlike play on the field and a revelation that the vast majority of Lakeridge football coaches were not properly certified.

As a result, the Oregon School Activities Association levied a fine against Lakeridge and placed the school on probation for three years.

Royster, who recently graduated and plans to play football at Portland State University this fall, transferred to Lakeridge from Lake Oswego High School. Shortly after joining the Pacers, Royster and his family made headlines by claiming he had been harassed at Lake Oswego, both in person and through a series of racially-charged posts by former teammates on social media websites.

Three Lake Oswego students were suspended and several football players were reprimanded for the harassment.

Dr. Bill Korach, the school district's superintendent, said Wednesday that while the district expected the lawsuit, he could not comment on the details of pending litigation.

“What I can say is that the district investigated (the incident) as soon as we became aware of it,” Korach said.

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