Lawyers for the daughter of University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban are seeking records from dozens of doctors, hospitals, schools and others about the one-time sorority sister who filed suit accusing the coach’s daughter of injuring her in a drunken brawl.
Court records show attorneys for Kristen Saban have issued more than 40 subpoenas as they try to obtain otherwise private information about Sarah Grimes, who sued the coach’s daughter in June alleging injuries from a fight that occurred in August 2010.
The coach’s daughter contends Grimes was the aggressor in the fight and argues she acted only in self-defense.
Medical records are important in the lawsuit, filed in Tuscaloosa County, partly because Kristen Saban’s lawyers argue in court documents that Grimes – who claims to have suffered a busted nose, a concussion and increased migraine headaches – alleged similar injuries after a car wreck in 2005.
An attorney for Kristen Saban did not return a message seeking comment. An attorney for Grimes, Stephen Strickland, declined comment.
“I don’t try my cases in public,” said Strickland.
The dean of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, John Carroll, said the large number of subpoenas issued by the defense “seems unusual,” and case the appears to be moving along more quickly than many lawsuits.
But, Carroll said, both may be “completely normal” if Grimes has been treated by a large number of doctors through the years and medical evidence proves crucial. Lawyers on both sides have to be thorough, he said.
“It’s a high-profile case,” said Carroll. “If you’re an attorney in a high-profile case you want to win.”
Records show defense lawyers filed the latest batch of requests on Wednesday, when they issued subpoenas seeking information about Grimes to four doctors, a hospital, a health care company and a college in Florida, Grimes’ home state.
In all, Kristen Saban’s lawyers have filed requests seeking records about Grimes with a dozen doctors; 20 medical groups, hospitals or clinics; two insurance companies and six schools, including Grimes former high school in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Grimes’ lawyer knew the subpoenas were coming: Strickland filed a motion in July allowing her records to be turned over to lawyers for her one-time friend. The medical records aren’t public, unlike the subpoenas requesting them.
Grimes and Kristen Saban joined the same sorority, Phi Mu, at Alabama in August 2009. The lawsuit claims the coach’s daughter, angry about a Facebook posting after a night of drinking, attacked Grimes a year later in a hair-pulling, throat-grabbing fight that doctors said could have killed Grimes.
Kristen Saban has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, which seeks an unspecified amount of at least $10,000. Neither coach Saban nor his wife was named in the suit.
A police report showed Grimes went to a hospital emergency room after a fight but did not want to press charges. Grimes is scheduled to give sworn, videotaped testimony about the civil lawsuit at her lawyer’s office on Dec. 17, records show.