published Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Lawsuit filed against UTC coach over wrestling camp injury

UTC wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger
UTC wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A lawsuit has been filed in Hamilton County circuit court seeking $600,000 from Chattanooga Wrestling Camps, LLC, of which Heath Eslinger is listed as the resident agent.

The suit was filed on April 19 by local attorney Hugh Hamilton on behalf of David Varghese, whose son Zach participated in a wrestling camp in June 2012.

The suit contends that Zach Varghese suffered a serious head and brain injury when another wrestler dropped him on his head during a match.

Eslinger, also the wrestling coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, had no comment.

CWC's legal representative, Rick Marcus, said he is still gathering information before responding to the suit. He just notified the court with papers filed Friday that he would be representing CWC.

"The lawsuit was the first notice that there was even a claim being contemplated," he said. "As you can imagine, we have a lot of investigation to do."

Marcus noted also that the suit was filed for the father.

In the suit, Varghese claims that his son was injured as a direct result of the club's failure to provide proper supervision. He also said there had been substantial medical and medically related expenses.

"About 75 percent of the lawsuits that are filed across the country have no merit. This is one we're investigating and we've just begun," Marcus said. "From what we have and from what the CWC has provided us, this [one] doesn't have any merit, either."

Contact Ward Gossett at or 423-886-4765.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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