Zach Silver / Sun File Photo

Lacrosse head coach Peter Milliman was hired in April 2017.

November 24, 2019

Woman Struck by Lacrosse Ball Sues University, Lacrosse Head Coach Peter Milliman for Negligence

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This post will be updated.

Cornell lacrosse head coach Peter Milliman, along with the University, were named as defendants in a negligence lawsuit filed after a woman was hit by a lacrosse ball.

Gloria and Brian Abrams — residents of Orange County, California — visited Cornell on Aug. 19, 2017. Court documents show that while standing in the parking lot adjacent to Schoellkopf Field — where the lacrosse team practices — Gloria Abrams was hit by a lacrosse ball. The Abrams have filed suit two years after the incident.

It is unclear why Brian and Gloria Abrams were visiting the University at the time. In a phone call with The Sun, Andrew Siegel — the attorney representing Brian and Gloria Abrams — stated that the Abrams have a child attending Cornell.

Outside of that, Siegel could not clarify any additional details, saying that “this is of a too personal nature for the family.”

The suit, filed on Nov. 14 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, alleges that Milliman and the University committed negligence because they failed to “erect the proper safety nets, barricades, and/or other devices to prevent lacrosse balls from leaving the subject playing field.”

At the time of this event, Milliman was serving as the head coach of the lacrosse team in an interim capacity. Milliman guided the team to a 13-5 record during the 2018 season that featured a victory in the Ivy League Tournament as well as an appearance in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. He was promoted to full-time status in May 2018.

Last season, the Red finished with a 10-5 record, and its season ended in the first round of the Ivy League Tournament at the hands of Yale.

As a result of this incident, Gloria Abrams “was caused to sustain serious injuries and to have suffered pain, shock and mental anguish.” The suit continued, saying these injuries and effects “will be permanent” and will render Abrams “unable to perform normal activities and duties and has sustained a resultant loss therefrom.” The suit does not describe the exact injuries or where the lacrosse ball struck Gloria Abrams.

A second cause of action on behalf of Brian Abrams stated that the accident has deprived him of “the services, societies, companionship and consortium of his said spouse.” The suit states that these damages exceed the jurisdictional limits of all lower courts.

University officials did not comment on the suit, citing the active status of the litigation.