Football player’s parents sue school districts

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The parents of a high school football player who lost consciousness during a game and later died filed a lawsuit. Damon Janes’ parents are suing three school districts and a long list of others involved in their son’s death.

News 4 has obtained copies of the summons and complaints filed in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. Janes’ parents are suing the Westfield, Brocton and Portville School Districts and first responders, a hospital, even the state athletic association.

The parents claim the defendants didn’t do enough to protect their son and other players. Damon Janes was a standout running back for the Westfield Brocton Wolverines.

He suffered a brain injury during a helmet-to-helmet hit at Portville High School in September 2013. He died three days later at Women and Children’s Hospital.

Attorneys said Janes suffered one or more concussions during the first half of the game and another one early in the third quarter.

The 16-year-old’s parents watched it all unfold. They argue the coaches should have pulled Damon from the game.

The lawsuit reads, “During the latter part of the second quarter, during half time, and again during the early part of the third quarter, Damon exhibited signs of having experienced at least one concussion, but Westfield did not pull him from the game and allowed him to play into the third quarter.”

Janes was later tackled, walked back to the bench and then collapsed.

The lawsuit names the fire and EMS personnel claiming they were disorganized, which attorneys argue led to delays in getting Janes to a trauma center fast enough.

News 4 has left messages for numerous defendants. So far no one is commenting. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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