Norwich, Former Player Named in Injury Suit

Former Wisconsin-Superior goaltender David Harbinson has filed a lawsuit against Norwich University and former player Jason Lumsden. Harbinson charges that Lumsden’s stick struck Harbinson while Harbinson was seated in the Superior bench near the end of Norwich’s 5-4 overtime victory in an NCAA semifinal game, played at Superior’s Wessman Arena on March 17, 2000.

Harbinson alleges that Lumsden was “negligent and reckless” in his style of play, and that Norwich allowed it, according to court documents obtained by The Royal and Sunalliance Insurance Company and the NCAA are also named as defendents.

Lumsden, who graduated in 2000, could not be reached for comment. Harbinson also graduated in 2000, and did not see significant playing time that season, backing up starters Tom Pink and Nate Ziemski.

It is not public record at this time what injuries Harbinson suffered, or how much he is claiming in damages. The court documents say that Harbinson is seeking damages for “past and future … health costs … earnings … and emotional damage due to disfigurement and disability.”

Norwich coach Mike McShane recently traveled to [nl]Wisconsin to be deposed. He had no comment, but Norwich University, upon an inquiry by USCHO, released the following statement:

“Norwich University has answered the complaint filed by Mr. Harbinson and moved for a dismissal of the complaint.

“While the case is still in the discovery phase, Norwich University has cooperated at every turn through its legal counsel, Forrest Maki, of Superior, [nl]Wisconsin.

“No further comment or information is available at this time.”

Sources indicate that Lumsden, during play near the Superior bench, inadvertently struck Harbinson in the face with his stick. Harbinson is claiming that it was Lumsden’s “reckless” style of play that caused the incident. Harbinson was not wearing a helmet, as is typical of backup goaltenders.

A scheduling conference is to take place in Douglas County court on Nov. 18.