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FORMER HOCKEY PLAYER DROPS UND SUIT JACE REED WILL REFILE LAWSUIT IN MINNESOTA

Paulette Tobin, Herald Staff Writer

Former UND hockey player Jace Reed's lawsuit against UND, its hockey coaches and trainer was withdrawn from federal court but soon will be refiled in Minnesota state court, one of Reed's attorneys said Tuesday.

Seeking reimbursement

Reed's new suit will again seek reimbursement for $1 million in medical expenses plus damages, said Minneapolis attorney Lauris Heyerdahl.

The suit will be refiled in Itasca County, Reed's county of residence, in the next month, Heyerdahl said.

Reed sued UND, head hockey coach Gino Gasparini and others last August in Federal court, saying they were responsible for an accident that left him unable to play college hockey again or pursue a professional hockey career.

Also named in the suit were assistant hockey coaches Jim Scanlan and Craig Perry, Sioux hockey trainer Chad Peterson and two unidentified defendants.

The suit sought $1 million for medical expenses and $50,000 for pain and suffering.

His case

In September 1991, Reed collapsed from severe dehydration during a 10-kilometer road race as part of the dryland training workouts Sioux players were doing to prepare for the hockey season.

Reed later was diagnosed as suffering from exercise-induced hyperthermia, or unusually high body temperature, along with hypotension, or abnormally low blood pressure.

Reed spent months in the hospital and underwent a kidney transplant, two liver transplants and a half-dozen other surgeries.

Assistant North Dakota Attorney General Sara Gullickson of Fargo, who represented UND, said the state filed a motion to dismiss the suit in federal court because the state has immunity and cannot be sued in federal court. Reed's attorney then withdrew the suit voluntarily.

"Although the university feels the accident was unfortunate, the university also does not feel it is liable for millions of dollars in damages because of it, because the university and the individuals names did nothing wrong," Gullickson said Tuesday.

Gullickson said Reed's attorneys were told they shouldn't refile in state court because North Dakota would again file for immunity.

A requirement

In this suit in federal court, Reed said he and other hockey players were required to participate in the run as part of preseason training drills. He said UND didn't provide enough water before, during or after the race, nor was there on-site emergency medical assistance.

A community fund-raising effort raised $30,000 to help the Reed family pay its medical bills.

Heyerdahl said Reed's medical bills are nearly $1 million.

Source: Grand Forks Herald, February 16, 1994