Wrongful Death Action Filed After High School Football Player Collapses From HCM

The parents of a South Carolina high school football player who died on the field filed a wrongful death action against several local and state agencies, as reported by the Hartsville Messenger. The tragic incident occurred on October 5, 2012. Ronald Rouse, 18 years old, collapsed twice on the field during a game with his parents sitting in the stands. He would be transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.

His parents, Yvonne Rouse and Ronald Rouse Sr., and their personal injury lawyer claim that Rouse’s high school and the state and county Boards of Education, among others, were negligent in regard to their policies and handling of events leading up to Rouse’s death. An autopsy performed on Rouse listed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) as the teen’s cause of death. HCM is a deadly heart condition that can be diagnosed in pre-participation athletic screenings by heart exam. Rouse’s medical records showed that 5 months prior to the incident, a physician called attention to Rouse’s blood pressure by circling it during a school physical exam. That summer, Rouse fainted on school grounds, a fact of which his football coach was made aware.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy accounts for a high percentage of deaths in teen athletes. You can read more about HCM, its detection and treatment, on the Care New England website here.

A RI wrongful death lawyer can assist the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate in bringing a wrongful death action pursuant to R.I. Gen. Law Section 10-7-2. A successful action will award damages, no less than $250,000, that will go to the widow, children, and/or next of kin as determined by the statute and probate law. Speaking with an experienced RI personal injury lawyer could help you determine  if you have a claim for wrongful death and who the responsible parties may be.