A recent epidemiology study found that football fatalities average at approximately 12% annually (1 in every 100,000 players). When deaths occur because of preventable causes, a case for wrongful death may be made.  Legal experts at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC are looking at a recent South Carolina case involving a high school football fatality.

In the lawsuit, the deceased student’s family is alleging negligence and suing the South Carolina and Darlington County Boards of Education, Hartsville High School, South Carolina High School League, Lake Robinson Rescue Squad, Darlington County Emergency Preparedness and Darlington County.

Ronald Rouse, an 18-year-old senior and football player at Hartsville High School, collapsed twice on the field. The second collapse resulted in his death – from cardiac arrest.  According to his parents, their son had recently been through a routine high school physical, which found that he had high blood pressure, yet was “cleared” to participate in all sports. They allege that their son was never made aware of his high blood pressure and that he complained of feeling faint during periods of high physical stress.

The three factors that must be proven are:  that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, that he/she breached this duty of care, and that this breach directly caused the wrongful death. Berkowitz and Hanna LLC recently reported on high school football fatalities and is following this case with interest.

Note: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC did not represent any of the parties in this case.

Photo by Elvert Barnes via Flickr.com.