Both sides argue whether KHSD provided safe environment for Mitch Carter

Posted at 9:31 PM, Jun 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-17 00:31:18-04

Opening statements began in the case against the Kern High School District after former Bakersfield High School student Mitch Carter was hurt in a dogpile at a school rally in 2010.

Carter was wearing a chicken suit to resemble the Clovis West High School Golden Hawk, the team Bakersfield High was set to play in the football valley championship that night.

Carter's attorneys say that Carter was hit by two students unexpectedly and then told the activities director that he didn't want to be in the suit anymore. They say Carter was forced to go back out to the rally or pay for the rental of the chicken suit, which they say was $75.

The attorneys for the Kern High School District say that Carter was not threatened to have to pay for the suit and it was his choice to go back to the rally.

They added that he did not tell administrators that he was going to do a skit with his friend where they would playfully tussle. Since they did not know it would occur, they could not know that the dogpile would ensue.

The main issue that the trial will cover is whether KHSD is at fault for not providing a safe environment for Carter and if they are liable, how much compensation does Carter deserve, given that his attorneys say he suffered a traumatic brain injury in the incident.