The tragic passing of a family member or friend is something that many have experienced. Imagine the pain not only from the death of the loved one but the pain of believing the death could have been avoided had negligence not been involved. This is what is referred to as wrongful death.
The family of a 21-year old California football player recently filed a lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California claiming wrongful death.
5th year senior and defensive end, Ted Agu, passed away February 7th 2014 following an off-season training run in Berkeley. Agu dealt with the sickle cell disease, which was allegedly known by the football staff.
The lawsuit that was filed in the California Supreme Court early this month states that there was “reckless and negligent behavior” by California’s training staff and university officials. Also, they are claiming that the University was negligent for hiring Robert Jackson, a certified athletic trainer who previously worked for the University of Central Florida. Jackson was the trainer at UCF when another player, Ereck Plancher, died following conditioning skills in 2008.
A Fox News report states that, like Plancher, Agu had sickle cell trait and should not have been put through a “lethal conditioning drill.” One of the family’s attorneys, Steve Yerrid, says “The same thing happened here as the Plancher case. What you see is a bona fide tragedy.” Yerrid was also an attorney for the Plancher family.
Sickle Cell is a disease that many athletes are able to play without any complications. However, the NCAA notes on its’ website that sickle cell, “can affect some athletes during a period of intense exercise, when the inherited condition causes red blood cells to warp into stiff and sticky shapes that block blood vessels and deprive vital organs and muscles of oxygen.”
The case is expected to go on trial in the next 6 to 12 months. Whatever the outcome is, our hearts go out to this family and anyone who has lost a loved one in such a tragic way.
If you have a loved one who has passed and you believe it may qualify as a wrongful death, please call compassionate, highly experienced wrongful death attorneys at Tennessee’s Gilreath & Associates for a free consultation.
And check out a prior blog post – Sports Injuries: Who Picks Up the Tab? – for specific information about how sports injuries are treated, etc.