Is School Staff Responsible for Athlete’s Death?

Posted on October 24, 2014 by Shapiro Law Group

The Florida Supreme Court is currently deciding whether or not schools have a duty to use potentially lifesaving medical devices on students.

In 2008, an 18-year-old soccer player collapsed and stopped breathing during an intramural soccer game. The coach performed CPR on the boy, but it took almost 26 minutes for the paramedics to resuscitate him.

By then, the young man had suffered massive brain damage. He is currently in a vegetative state and will likely require constant care and supervision for the rest of his life.

The outcome is even more tragic, because the school had an automated external defibrillator (AED) parked near the end zone of the soccer field. The coach said he called for it, but no one ever brought it over.

AEDs have a tremendous success rate with cardiac arrest. If the shocks can restart the heart within 3-4 minutes, survival is all but assured.

The victim’s parents filed a lawsuit against East Lee County High School, alleging that its staff was negligent when its members failed to use the AED during their son’s cardiac episode.

In the past, courts have ruled that the school is “required to have an operational AED on school grounds, register its location and provide appropriate training,” but stopped short of requiring staff to use the device in case of an emergency. Now, the Supreme Court will have its chance to rule on the case.

Unfortunately, cardiac arrest during athletic events is fairly common. If schools are required to keep AEDs available and train their staff to use them, those people have a responsibility to do so during an emergency.

Did Negligence Cause My Injuries?

In an emergency situation, negligence and poor training can change a victim’s life forever. If your loved one was permanently injured due to medical negligence, the attorneys at Shapiro Law Group may be able to help you. Learn more about our firm on Facebook or Twitter, or schedule a free consultation today.

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