January 18, 2016
A couple filed a wrongful death lawsuit last month after their 16-year-old son collapsed and died during a high school football practice in New York City on Sept. 1, 2014. The parents claimed that their son would not have died if the city had provided proper care, including access to a defibrillator.
Furthermore, they allege that the initially responding emergency team was not equipped to deal with the case. The couple has requested unspecified damages. They named several agencies as defendants in the lawsuit, including the Fire Department, the city of New York, the Emergency Medical Services Bureau and the Department of Education.
Despite routine physicals that never showed health problems, the medical examiner claimed that the boy succumbed to a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which results in the thickening of the heart due to genetic causes. The condition restricts blood flow from the heart. The medical examiner further determined that obesity complicated the health risks.
The attorney stated that the parents continue to grieve the loss of their son; however, he did not specifically comment on the wrongful death lawsuit. The city continues to review the case.
The incident happened after the teen collapsed in the 78 degree weather with 75 percent humidity after doing wind sprints. State regulations stop high school workouts when the temperatures hit 85 degrees with 80 percent humidity. However, when the humidity ranges from 50 to 80 percent, the regulations advise participants to use extreme caution. Additional laws mandate that schools have defibrillators on site in case of an emergency. In addition, they need to have trained personnel present who know how to use the equipment.
One witness stated that firefighters attempted CPR to revive the 295 pound teen, who stood at 6 feet 2 inches tall. A second ambulance crew was then called out to the scene. After unsuccessfully performing chest compressions, they rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Negligence in providing proper care by government officials can result in a tragic loss of life. Loved ones might want to investigate their rights and speak with a personal injury attorney for further information.
Featured image courtesy of SI Live