It’s a terrible fact of life that sudden cardiac arrest can take
any life, at any time. Sadly, for the surviving family of promising young
athlete Alvin Williams Jr., that’s once again proved to be true.
13-year old Alvin collapsed from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) attack following
basketball practice at The Skills Center in Tampa, Florida last Thursday.
As is common with student athletes who succumb to a fatal SCA episode,
Alvin was young and otherwise healthy. No one could have ever suspected
that would be his last practice, on his last day of his life.
Our hearts go out to all student athletes and their families who experience
this terrible loss.
Could an AED have saved Alvin’s life? Was there an AED available
at The Skills Center?
The reason we are interested in this case is because SCA in public places
is a very specific type of personal injury case that few attorneys across
the nation handle. Craig Goldenfarb, Esq. is an attorney who does. Mr.
Goldenfarb is the former chairperson of the Heart Attacks in Public Places
Committee at the American Justice Association, and over his 20-year career,
has handled dozens of cases just like this.
In a case like this, the potential negligence essentially lies on the part
of the facility. If an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was not
present on premises at The Skills Center at the time of Alvin’s
SCA, the facility may be held liable, and the liability insurance carrier
for the facility or its parent company or owners.
If an AED was present, but an AED was not used, that too, could be a negligent
act for which a wrongful death case may be claimed. News reports seems
to indicate that an AED was not used on Alvin. It’s unclear whether
the facility has AEDs.
What is clear is that a facility such as The Skills Place should absolutely
have an AED on site. The facility hosts hundreds of youth ages 6-18 years
old each week, offering a variety of sports, including basketball, football,
tennis, and soccer. Undoubtedly, The Skills Center is an important community
resource, that is fulfilling a valuable public good.
That being said, if it turns out there was no AED at the Center at the
time that young Alvin collapsed, there is no excuse for such an egregious
act of negligence. The Center, and its liability insurance company, should
be held liable by the family in a
wrongful death lawsuit.
The importance of the work we do as SCA lawyers
As lawyers who represent families who lost a love one due to an SCA at
facilities that lack AEDs or proper maintenance of their AEDs, the work
we do plays an extremely important role in the healing process.
Young student athletes like Alvin had their whole life ahead of them, before
it was abruptly cut short. These students deserve a chance to survive.
If an AED is not present or used during an attack, the chances of the
victim’s survival drops by 10% every minute, according to expert
studies on the subject.
The thought of the death of a child being preventable is difficult to bear
for many surviving family members. To help overcome that emotional burden,
hiring a lawyer to hold the entity that was responsible for the care of
that child can result in comfort and solace.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be brought in the state of Florida by the surviving
parents of a young child. Calling a reputable and
experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled complex cases like this one is the first step in the process.
Mr. Goldenfarb is always available for personal visit with a grieving family
who has lost a loved one.
Just call 561-697-4440. There is no obligation or upfront cost to hire our law firm for a wrongful
death case. Ask for an initial consultation, and we would love the opportunity
to see if we can help.