published Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Paraplegic sues Bryan College, others for $20 million

A Chatsworth, Ga., man is suing Bryan College and the National Association of Christian Athletes for $20 million, alleging he snapped his spine and became a paraplegic while on an unsafe obstacle course the association operated near Dayton, Tenn.

On July 4, 2012, Larry Moss went with church members to the Fort Bluff Camp in Dayton.

He went through "The Crucible" obstacle course, where at one station he was instructed to drop from a 10- to 15-foot tower and land in the seated position, according to court documents.

The course was said to simulate a U.S. Marine Corps-type obstacle course, but Moss alleges that the equipment was unsafe and the staff "incompetent."

The mat on which he landed was nothing more than a piece of "thin and rotted foam," he alleges.

When he landed, his spine snapped, and since that time he has been confined to a wheelchair and likely will be for the rest of his life, according to court documents.

Since his injuries, Moss states that he has incurred more than $211,000 in medical bills and estimates at least $5 million more over the course of his lifetime.

The Sunday school teacher at 11th Avenue Baptist Church in Dalton, Ga., said the injuries have affected his relationship with his wife and children and his ability to carry out basic tasks such as caring for himself.

Bryan College owns and operates the Fort Bluff Camp, according to court documents. The National Association of Christian Athletes also operates at the camp.

College officials deferred comment to their attorney, John Critchfield.

Critchfield said Monday he had not received a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment.

A message left at the Kentucky offices of the association was not returned.

Atlanta-based attorney Scott Delius cited court rules prohibiting comments on pending litigation and declined comment.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree or 423-757-6347.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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