TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The daughter of University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban is being sued by a sorority sister who claims the two got into a fight over a Facebook post after a night of drinking.
The lawsuit was filed late last month in Tuscaloosa by Sarah Grimes, who is identified as a sorority sister of Kristen Saban. Grimes suffered numerous injuries in a hair-pulling, throat-grabbing melee that an emergency room doctor said could have killed her, the suit claims.
The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of at least $10,000 and doesn't mention the football coach or his wife Terry Saban. A representative of the coach declined comment.
An attorney for Kristen Saban filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Thursday, blaming the altercation on Grimes and claiming the coach's daughter acted only in self-defense. Kristen Saban's motion said she didn't cause any of Grimes' injuries.
"We strongly dispute the allegations – and that's all they are at this point – made in the complaint," said Josh Hayes, an attorney for Kristen Saban. "We will vigorously defend Kristen and the truth will come out."
A lawyer for Grimes, Stephen Strickland, called the lawsuit "a private matter."
"It's not about Nick Saban, it's not about Miss Terry. It's about two individuals who used to be sorority sisters and friends," Strickland said. Both are still students at the university.
The lawsuit claimed Grimes and Kristen Saban were playing a drinking game called "Power Hour" with friends on Aug. 28, 2010. After an hour, around midnight, they went to a Tuscaloosa bar called Rounders where Kristen Saban got mad because a guy she had dated wasn't paying her enough attention, according to the suit.
The group went to a house after last call at the bar and Kristen Saban became emotional, the suit said. While lying on the floor with two other young women the coach's daughter began saying "how everyone did not understand `how it was' for her ... ," the complaint said.
"After Kristen refused to get off the floor after several people had tried to help her, Sarah looked over at Kristen and said, `Kristen, please just shut up. We're all sick and tired of hearing it,'" according to the suit
Later, Kristen Saban posted to Facebook: "No one likes Sarah! Yayyyyy!" Confronted by Grimes, Kristen Saban deleted the post, the suit said.
Grimes claims the altercation began when she told Kristen Saban: "That's fine, but we're done, you're crazy." Grimes contends the other woman punched her repeatedly in the head, grabbed her neck and pulled her hair, leaving her bloody, swollen and bruised.
Friends took Grimes to the emergency room at DCH Regional Medical Center, which is adjacent to the university campus. There, both city and university police and the university's dean of students showed up in response to an assault call, the suit said.
University spokeswoman Cathy Andreen said a worker from the school's student affairs office, not the dean, went to the hospital after being notified by university police. Such checks are standard when a student is hospitalized, she said.
Andreen declined further comment, citing privacy rules.
Tuscaloosa police Sgt. Brent Blankley said officers went to the hospital and filled out a report. "The victim stated she did not want to prosecute in the case and the case was closed," he said, declining further comment.
The suit said Grimes was hurt so badly she suffered a concussion, an increase in migraine headaches, had nasal surgery and required psychological help.
"As a result of the beating and the head injuries Sarah Grimes sustained by Kristen Saban, Sarah has had repeated night terrors, anxiety, physical trembling, fears of dying from brain injuries, trouble sleeping, and intrusive recollections of the event," the lawsuit said.
Kristen Saban's lawyer argued that Grimes was responsible for her own injuries. The dismissal motion also said insurance covered Grimes' medical costs, so Kristen Saban shouldn't have to pay.
Kristen Saban pleaded guilty to an unspecified offense before the university's judicial board but was not prosecuted criminally, according to the suit. It said she was required to undergo psychological screening and take an anger management class.
A 2009 news release from the university about sorority recruitment identified both Grimes, of Pensacola, Fla., and Kristen Saban as new members of Phi Mu.