Judge awards damages to injured soccer player

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - A 21-year-old former Kauai high school soccer player has been awarded damages for an injury suffered during a team practice five years ago.

Chief Judge Randal Valenciano of 5th Circuit Court on Thursday awarded $50,000 to Dakota Barnett.

The former Kapaa High soccer player as a junior slid against a pole flag with a steel base plate used as a temporary goal.

The device cut her knee and Barnett claimed the injury caused her to lose a soccer scholarship. She filed a claim against the state Department of Education.

Valenciano ruled Thursday after a weeklong civil bench trial that there's an expectation that the Department of Education would provide equipment for organized sports.

He also says there was evidence that Barnett pushed herself too hard to return to playing.

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