When a young student athlete collapses and dies from an unknown medical condition, it is a shock to their family, friends, the athletic staff and fellow teammates, and the community at large. And sadly, it is becoming more familiar.
About 1 in 90 student athletes in the U.S. will suffer from Sudden Cardiac Arrest during a period of invigorating exercise, such as football practice.
This week, another young, promising athlete collapsed and died possibly due to an unknown and potentially undiagnosed heart condition on the Stetson University football field in Deland, Florida. He was 19-year old football player Nick Blakely.
The Importance of Heart Screenings and Whether Stetson University Conducts Them
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is, by definition, difficult to predict, but there are measures universities and athletic programs can and should be taken to protect their students, such as health screenings that include baseline heart exams.
It may be the responsibility of the university to ensure that these baseline heart exams and screenings were performed to help identify any potential heart risks or conditions among it’s varsity student body. Whether those screenings were performed on Mr. Blakely prior to him joining the Stetson University’s football team is unknown, and that should be investigated by a personal injury law firm.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm?
Where there is potential negligence that results in the death of a loved one, there may be Wrongful Death claim made under the law of the state of Florida. Universities are not exempt from their obligation to adhere to measures that reduce the risk of injury or death to their students, and those on their university grounds.
But personal injury claims as they relate to the sudden cardiac death are particularly difficult cases to prove, so it is important that if you are going to hire a lawyer, that you hire a lawyer with years’ of sufficient experience and knowledge in this area of law, known as Heart Attacks in Public Places.
If there was a negligent action that lead to the untimely death of Nick Blakely, such as lax health screenings, or a lack of a standardized heart examination process for all student athletes, there may be a personal injury claim, if in fact Mr. Blakely’s death is determined to be due to sudden cardiac arrest.
If you or someone you know lost a loved one due to sudden cardiac arrest at a public place such as a university or school, please contact our law firm for a free legal consultation.