Inflatable Sumo Suit Led to Brain Injury for Girl, 15: Suit

She hit her head 3 times and has never been the same, mom says

By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 23, 2014 8:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – Celaida Lissabet, 15, was participating in what was supposed to be a fun event at her Miami-area charter school last October, wrestling with a classmate while wearing an inflatable sumo suit during "Spirit Day"—but things went terribly awry, leaving the girl with severe brain damage, according to a new lawsuit. The 9th-grader fell off the protective mat and hit her head on the ground three times; after being sent back to class, she complained of blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, and headaches, and was taken to the hospital. Her mom says the teen now acts like a child, has trouble communicating, and is plagued by anxiety, the Miami Herald reports.

"The second time [she fell] she told the gentleman that her head was hurting and she was seeing blurry and she didn’t want to do it anymore and he told her that she had to do it three times," says Celaida’s mom, Raquel Lissabet, according to CBS Miami. "The third time she was finally knocked down and they stood her up and sent her to class." Now Raquel Lissabet is suing the school, Mater Academy, and Mega Party Events, the company that provided the suits. The lawsuit claims that both failed to provide adequately trained personnel and adequately fitting helmets, reports NBC 6 South Florida. "It’s not my daughter," Raquel Lissabet says. "It’s a completely different person." In 2007, a woman in Colorado won $2 million in damages after falling in an inflatable sumo wrestling suit at a company retreat and suffering severe brain damage. (In another freak accident last month, a 2-year-old was killed by a statue.)

Sumo grand champion Hakuho of Mongolia performs his ring entry forms to dedicate to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Friday, Jan. 6, 2012.
Sumo grand champion Hakuho of Mongolia performs his ring entry forms to dedicate to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Friday, Jan. 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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