The parents of a 16-year-old New York City high school football player who collapsed during a 2014 football practice and later died have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
In court papers filed in December 2015, the parents allege that the city, its education officials, and the emergency workers involved failed to provide adequate care to their son after he collapsed. They say a defibrillator was not readily available after the 6-foot-2-inch, 295-pound player fainted during practice at Curtis High School on Staten Island, according to the Associated Press (AP). The teen was in cardiac arrest when he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The medical examiner ruled that the teen died of a heart muscle condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Obesity was listed as a contributing factor, according to CBS News. The family says routine physical examinations never revealed any problems. The boy’s father told the New York Daily News that his son had passed a physical in July 2014 and the family was not aware of any pre-existing conditions.
Rules for sports teams in public high schools in the city say practices must stop if temperatures hit 85 degrees and humidity of 80 percent, CBS News reports. On September 1, the day the boy collapsed, the temperature was 78 degrees and the humidity was around 75 percent.
The lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court on Staten Island, the AP reports. The family seeks unspecified damages.