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Basketball referee puts coach on defense

We’ve all probably watched a sporting event and been angry at a referee/official for what we think was a bad call against our team. (On second thought, we know it was a bad call against our team.) We’ve also probably never though of doing anything more than voicing our displeasure.

But the Internet is full of stories of referees being attacked by fans and players. To that list we now can add a recent Baltimore lawsuit, filed by a basketball referee seeking $250,000 from a private high school after he was allegedly assaulted by “a coach and several others” during a game in March.

Richard Hitchens was working as a referee at a basketball game at St. Frances Academy on March 27 when he was “attacked and assaulted,” according to a complaint filed Monday in Baltimore City Circuit Court. Hitchens does not name his alleged assailants nor explain what led to the attack.

The official does say he sustained injuries to his head and body due to the school’s negligence. St. Frances, according to the complaint, should have hired security for the game and owed Hitchens a duty to keep the property free from dangerous conditions, including being assaulted.

Premises liability is the sole cause of action stated in the lawsuit.

The case is Richard Hitchens v. St. Frances Academy, 24C15005490.

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