Earlier this year, our South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog reported on a civil lawsuit filed by the parents of University of Central Florida football player Ereck Plancher against the school. The 19-year-old died three years ago when his sickle cell trait was triggered during an off-season practice session. Now, a jury has awarded Plancher’s parents a $10 million Florida wrongful death verdict.
The jurors found that UCF’s Athletic Association was negligent and did not do everything it could to save the college football player’s life. However, they also said that the association shouldn’t be ordered to pay punitive damages because there wasn’t any “clear and convincing evidence” proving gross negligence. UCF plans to appeal the jury’s verdict.
Following Plancher’s death, his teammates have come accused football staff of not coming to his help sooner even though they knew he had a pre-existing condition that should be monitored and he showed symptoms of dizziness and exhaustion and experienced breathing problems.
Student athletes can get seriously ill or die because they worked out too hard and too long or under severe weather conditions, such as extreme heat. Some athletes may be even more prone to injury because they have pre-existing health issues. It is the responsibility of the school and its athletic supervisors to know this and monitor practices and playtime accordingly. That said, even athletes that don’t suffer from health issues should be properly monitored and supervised. Ideally, coaches and trainers should make sure that players are properly hydrated, allow them to stop working out if they get dizzy or nauseous, and getting them any medical attention they need right away.
Plancher-UCF verdict heightens attention to athlete health, Florida Today, July 9, 2011
More Blog Posts:
Wrongful death verdict leaves UCF with $10 million liability, big questions about O’Leary’s future, Yahoo.com, July 1, 2011
Family of Deceased UCF Football Player Can Seek Punitive Damages in their Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the University, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog March 31, 2011
Parents awarded $10 million in UCF football player’s death, News-Press, July 1, 2011
If you believe that negligence on the part of coaches, trainers, or others caused your child to get hurt, sick, or die, do not hesitate to speak with a Miami personal injury law firm right away. Even if your child is a minor, you may be able to file a claim on his/her behalf.