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Former college linebacker sues bars, attackers for injury in 2014 Mankato brawl

MANKATO - Isaac Kolstad, the former Minnesota State Mankato linebacker who was severely injured in a 2014 bar fight, is suing his attackers and two bars that served them.

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MANKATO - Isaac Kolstad, the former Minnesota State Mankato linebacker who was severely injured in a 2014 bar fight, is suing his attackers and two bars that served them.

The civil lawsuit, filed last week, names Philip Nelson and Trevor Shelley, along with Blue Bricks Bar and South Street Saloon. Documents filed in Blue Earth County District Court allege the bars had served Nelson, a former University of Minnesota quarterback who was under the legal drinking age at the time of the assault.

According to the lawsuit, Nelson started a shoving match with Kolstad on May 11, 2014, after mistaking him for a Blue Bricks bouncer that had allegedly kissed Nelson’s girlfriend earlier that evening.

After Kolstad had knocked Nelson to the ground, Shelley punched Kolstad in the head as Kolstad walked away. Nelson got up and kicked Kolstad in the head, who had gone motionless after hitting his head on the pavement.

Nelson’s drunkenness was a “direct and proximate cause” of the fight, according to the lawsuit.

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Kolstad’s medical expenses have exceeded $1 million and continue to rise as the 26-year-old continues to rehabilitate to return to his old self, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks for a jury trial for damages.

Shelley pleaded guilty to first-degree assault for his role in the fight, receiving a sentence of five months in jail. Nelson was given community service and probation for fifth-degree assault, as forensic pathologists found the bulk of Kolstad’s injuries came from Shelley’s punch and subsequent head-first fall into pavement.

Nelson, a former Mankato West standout, spent two seasons playing for the Minnesota Gophers football team. He had transferred to Rutgers University in New Jersey, but was dropped from the team by the school after he was criminally charged in the fight with Kolstad. He is now the starting quarterback at East Carolina.

Kolstad started his college football career at North Dakota State University before he transferred to Minnesota State. He was celebrating his college graduation the night of the assault.

Related Topics: CRIMEMANKATO
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