Seton Hall files to dismiss player’s suit over knee injury


FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard, left, talks with guard Myles Powell (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Saint Louis in St. Louis. Powell has sued Seton Hall, coach Kevin Willard and a staff member for failing to diagnose a knee injury during his senior season, causing him to suffer severe physical and financial damage.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Seton Hall University has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former star basketball player Myles Powell over a knee injury Powell claims was misdiagnosed by team staff and led to his not being drafted by any NBA teams.

In his lawsuit filed last month that seeks unspecified damages, Powell claimed the failure of the South Orange, New Jersey-based school, coach Kevin Willard and staffer Tony Testa to correctly diagnose a knee injury led to physical and financial damage. Powell was Seton Hall’s third all-time leading scorer and was the Big East Conference player of the year in 2019-2020.

The suit alleged Powell was misdiagnosed with an ankle injury early in the 2019-20 season, when it was actually a lateral meniscus tear to his right knee. The suit further alleges the high-scoring guard was not told of the extent of his injury and the failure to treat it properly caused permanent damage.

Testa would inject “pain killer” medication into the knee to allow Powell to play, the suit alleged. It also alleged Willard was aware of the pain issues and the treatment that allowed Powell to play.

In its brief filed on Aug. 6, the school argued that it is shielded from Powell’s negligence claims under state law governing schools, charities or other nonprofit institutions.

It also argued Powell’s other claims of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty misinterpret the law, and that Powell misidentified Testa in the lawsuit as a medical doctor when he is not one.

The national letter of intent Powell signed when he committed to attend Seton Hall, which his lawsuit contends obligated the school to protect him from the negligent conduct of its employees, “does not even remotely contain the contractual terms or duties that Plaintiff alleges existed and were breached by Seton Hall,” the brief stated.

A message was left Thursday with an attorney representing Powell.

A federal judge is expected to rule early next month on the motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

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