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SIMI VALLEY : School Board Rejects $1-Million Claim

The Simi Valley school board has rejected a $1-million claim by a former Simi Valley High School student who alleged that his basketball coach caused him physical and emotional damage by grabbing him during a Jan. 14 game.

Eighteen-year-old Samuel Rodriguez’s administrative claim accused varsity basketball coach Dean Bradshaw of squeezing his neck, shoulder and arm and then throwing him down on a bench after the guard was given a technical foul during a game against Westlake High School.

School officials suspended Bradshaw for the final nine games of the season over the incident.

Simi Valley school board members rejected Rodriguez’s claim during their meeting Tuesday night, a standard procedure for all administrative claims, Supt. E. Leon Mattingley said.

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Expecting that the claim would be rejected, the Rodriguez family now intends to file a lawsuit, said Daniel R. Gonzalez, Rodriguez’s attorney.

“They’ve got six months in which to file a lawsuit against the district and the coach and that’s what they are looking at doing,” Gonzalez said.

The law requires plaintiffs to file administrative claims before a lawsuit can be filed in Ventura County Superior Court.

Rodriguez, a senior at the time of the incident, graduated this spring.

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