Negligence Contributing Factor in Football Player Death
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton personal injury attorney. Contact sports, especially football, have been in the public eye, due to the serious risks of injury and even death. After the death of their son during practice at a California university, one couple filed a lawsuit against the school.
On Jan. 25, 2016, the University of California admitted that the school was negligent, which contributed to the death of a former football player. The walk-on player died during a drill using a rope pull up and down a hill near the stadium. The parents claimed that the school did not report their son’s medical history to the Alameda County coroner’s office. The student had the sickle cell trait, and individuals with this condition are often misdiagnosed with heart conditions.
The medical examiner initially labeled the cause of death due to a heart condition, but the coroner’s office later changed the reason for death to Sickle Cell Trait (SCT). The first examiner reported that he was unaware of the student’s health-related issues as he did not receive the relevant medical records.
According to the family attorney, the school previously denied responsibility in the incident. He believes they are now admitting liability in order to minimize their financial losses in the case.
In his deposition, the head football trainer reported that he directed the team to stop working. However, other team members provided conflicting testimonies, and some said that the trainer did not even speak to the player when he collapsed. After the incident, he transitioned to a trainer position for the men’s and women’s track team but eventually left the school of his own volition.
In 2008 while working as a trainer for the University of Central Florida, the same trainer had another player die while under his watch.
The campus has since implemented new procedures to protect students and minimize the risk of injury or death for athletes. These include mandatory EKGs, discontinuing intense physical workouts as punishments and structuring workouts so that at least one staff member can see all athletes. The school released a statement emphasizing their desire to ensure safety measures for students in sports.
The family wants the school to pass policies so that these types of incidents do not happen in the future.
The school is no longer contesting their responsibility in the matter, stating that they want to focus on providing proper compensation to the family as they believe this is the best use of their resources. However, the parties might not reach a settlement before the trial date, set for April.
Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Stockton
Hi, I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton Wrongful Death Attorney. If you have lost a family member in a wrongful death incident, we realize that no amount of compensation will bring them back. However, punitive sanctions can help send a clear message to the negligent party and hold them accountable for their actions. Our legal team will develop a strategy with you to determine the best course of action to follow in your case. Contact us for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or toll free at (800) 404-5400. You can also reach us online at this link.
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