On Tuesday, June 11, students at Tampa’s Middleton High School were engaged in after-school football drills when 14-year-old Hezekiah Walters suddenly collapsed. Coaches quickly called 911, and he was taken to a local hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.
Walters collapsed about 30 minutes into an outdoor practice that included weightlifting and wind sprints. Medical examiners are still determining his cause of death, but heat stroke and exertion-related heart attacks caused 9 out of 13 football-related deaths in 2017.
“We are devastated by the death of one of our students,” said Tanya Arja, a spokesperson for the county’s public schools. “This student was an amazing young man who was loved by his friends, teachers and staff at school.”
It’s not clear from initial media reports whether an AED (automated external defibrillator) was deployed, or attempted to be deployed. AEDs are used to shock the heart when it is in defibrillation, or in other words, when it is in cardiac arrest and not beating properly. In Florida, all public schools are required to have an AED, and it’s a good safety precaution to have a mobile AED nearby any time students are exercising.
If the school did not have an AED, or if an AED was not retrieved or attempted to be used, or if the AED had malfunctioned, there may be a liability case against the school for wrongful death.
Florida School Need to “Get the Message”: Have an AED on Hand At All Times!
We have litigated dozens of cases against schools, hospitals, sporting facilities, and other public places for negligence in not having or not using an AED when a victim on premises suddenly succumbs to sudden cardiac arrest. The laws in Florida are nuanced, and this type of litigation is very difficult. That is why it is important to hire an experienced attorney in this area of law.
Experts say having an AED (defibrillator) on hand at athletic facilities can help save a life if an athlete experiences a sudden cardiac arrest, as paramedics may not arrive in time.
The Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb, P.A. is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals and families that have suffered injuries due to the negligence of others. Our attorneys have more than 170 years of combined experience investigating and representing those who have suffered tragic loss or severe injuries.
If you know a surviving family member of a person who was injured or killed in an accident, please encourage them to give our firm a call immediately. The consultation is completely free, and there is no out-of-pocket cost to the family to hire us.
Editorial Note: The purpose of this news blog is to write about cases relevant to our industry and raise awareness about injury cases so that victims of similar incidents can educate themselves on theories of liability, the law, and how personal injury cases typically work. This article is created using publicly available information and is a secondary source. If you find any information here to be inaccurate, please notify us at [email protected], and we will make the appropriate adjustments.