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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

High School Football Practice: Negligence in the End Zone?

Q: Are players’ deaths during rigorous pre-season training sessions grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit?

Americans love their sports, from baseball and hotdogs in the summer to football and chili in the fall. But the training season for each high school sport begins weeks or even months earlier which, in the case of football, means wannabe superstars hit the field for conditioning drills during the hottest weeks of the year.

This summer, an upcoming high school freshman on an academic scholarship to a private Catholic school in the Bronx died during his second pre-season work-out with the junior varsity football team.

Was this a wrongful death?

Relatives have reportedly questioned whether "heat and negligence" caused the boy’s death. During a running drill the boy allegedly "told coaches he was exhausted but was told to run one more lap. He collapsed soon after.” Despite being attended to by "CPR-certified staff", he could not be revived.

Although there was a heat advisory for later that fateful day, the temperature in the early morning when the boy collapsed was allegedly only 79°. According to his family, he had "no pre-existing health conditions".

In an odd coincidence, a high school football player on Long Island died two weeks earlier during a rigorous pre-season training session when a 400-pound log he and his teammates were reportedly carrying during a conditioning drill hit him in the head.

Consider these sobering statistics on fatalities among young competitive athletes:

  • 75%of deaths are related to heart conditions;
  • 80% of those suffering cardiac arrest deaths show no prior warning signs;
  • 9 U.S. football players died from "non-contact factors such as heat stroke and sudden cardiac arrest" in 2016.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the closest surviving relatives of the decedent may be entitled to compensatory damages, depending on the circumstances of each case and on the survivor’s relationship to the victim. If the survivors can prove that another person or entity caused the death of the victim by negligently, recklessly, or intentionally acting or failing to act, then recoverable damages may include the victim’s final medical and burial expenses, and loss of benefits such as financial support. If the victim was aware of their impending death and/or experienced conscious pain and suffering, additional damages may also be awarded.

Because wrongful death lawsuits are very complex and involve many factors which differ on a case-by-case basis, seeking the guidance of a skilled wrongful death attorney with proven results is wise.

If you or a loved one has been injured or loved one has been killed in any kind of accident as a result of someone else's negligence, the Goldstein Law Firm will fight to get you the financial compensation to which you are entitled. While it won't bring your loved one back, it can help relieve the financial burden and allow you to focus on healing. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our office in the Bronx, New York, we represent victims and their families throughout New York State as well as those injured while visiting New York.


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